Cooking for kids is no easy task. They always seem to want the bad stuff: chips, soda, candy, fast food. For any parent, it can take a lot of work-and a good number of wasted dinners-to figure out their children’s tastes. To get your kids to eat right, you should help them discover good food on their own, not force it upon them. Here’s how you can introduce healthy food into your children’s diet without putting up a major food fight.
Make party food everyday food. If your kid eats more at birthday parties, why not bring party food into the daily menu? A lot of party foods are actually pretty healthy. Liven up your dinners with colorful pasta, barbecues, and candied fruits. To keep them going, reward healthy eating with the occasional fancy dessert.
Sweeten up your recipes. Does your kid have a sweet tooth? Use it t your advantage by sweetening up classic dishes such as roasts, stir fries, and chicken. Sugar isn’t the only way to do that. Discover healthy natural sweeteners such as cinnamon, chutney, and some cooking fruits. Use them as sauce bases, marinades, or salad dressings.
Get creative.A bit of presentation can go a long way when it comes to feeding kids. Perk up a children’s party by serving colorful animal cupcakes instead of the usual sweets and chocolates. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to bake-you can just buy plain cupcakes and decorate them with fancy animal shapes.
Start small. You don’t introduce healthy eating by overhauling your menu in one day. Help your kids adjust their tastes by gradually introducing healthy food in their diets. Start by using healthier sandwich spreads or adding a fruit or two to their lunch box. As they learn to like the new foods, they’ll start asking for more.
Let them help out. Kids will appreciate meals more if they can see how it comes together. Take them grocery shopping, let them choose their own fruits, and have them help with dinner once or twice a week. Keep up a lively mood so it’s more like a fun activity than housework.