Eating habits are learned behaviours, so what your children learn today will stick with them well into adulthood. To help you get your kids on the right track, we’ve put together some handy dandy tips to conquer the never-ending dinner battle!
Getting your kids to help with the cooking process will work like magic! Older kids can chop veggies and prepare salads while smaller children can do things like breaking eggs, sifting flour, setting the table, sprinkling cheese onto pasta and so much more. The more they help out, the more they’re willing to eat what they helped create. By the end of it, they’ll be so eager to eat the fruits of their labour, you’ll be begging them to help out every night!
Veggies are a parent’s worst nightmare so we’ve found a way to sneak some veggies into your meals! Instead of steaming your vegetables, stir-fry them. Instead of serving hummus with pita bread, serve it with veggie sticks. Making a meat sauce? Substitute a quarter of the beef with finely chopped mushrooms into the mix. The meaty texture of mushrooms is similar to the ground beef, and they absorb the rich flavors of the sauce. It doesn’t end there – there are an infinite amount of ways to switch it up!
The name of a dish has a huge effect on dinner time too! Fresh Spaghetti topped with Handmade Italian Meatballs with Parsley and Basil? Your child probably won’t be into that, but Spaghetti and Meatballs? Any kid would be reaching for seconds.
As any parent knows, kids love colour. This doesn’t apply to their toys but to their food too! While oatmeal is healthy and delicious to adults, there’s a reason why kids like Lucky Charms better – it’s fun! When cooking dinner, be sure to incorporate lots of fun colours such as forest green spinach, purple eggplant, orange carrots or yellow peppers. Colourful dishes are typically more enticing to kids, so eat with colour!
A lot of the times, kids are scared because they don’t know what the scary leafy green is – or where it came from. Young people are becoming more and more removed from where their food is coming from. Take turns choosing food items and asking where they come from. Apples come from trees. Milk comes from cows. Carrots grow in the ground. Soon enough, that scary looking food on the plate won’t seem too scary. Secondly, telling kids to drink milk because “you said so” is going to be a lot less effective than “milk will make your bones strong!”. Educate your kids on what food does for the body and how foods will make your body feel.
Adults can be stubborn about eating their vegetables but when it comes to picky eating, children take the cake. With these tips, we hope we can help make dinner time just a tad easier!