Getting kids to eat healthy food is a struggle that parents almost everywhere experience, and we all remember being the child responsible for that struggle.
If our food wasn’t fun, we were less likely to eat it.
With that knowledge in hand, we can help the next generation make better choices about food simply by making those foods more exciting to eat.
Creativity and some research is all you need to get your children excited about eating healthy, nutritious food.
1) Use Food’s Natural Shapes
Children’s minds are extremely visual and colors and shapes entice them, knowing this makes it easier to get them to eat healthier.
For instance, a fun way to get more fruits into your child’s diet is to turn them into animals.
Fruits that can easily be cut or displayed in the form of animals include:
• Bananas (caterpillars, snakes)
• Clementines (snails, crabs)
• Pears (mice, bears, hippos)
• Grapes (arranged into shapes)
Breakfast presents a unique opportunity for wild food creations since you can transform a waffle, pancake, or bowl of oatmeal simply with berry eyes, apple slice ears, and a turkey bacon mouth.
2) Turn Meals into Finger Foods
Millions of school lunches can’t be wrong… Kids love to eat with their hands.
Try cooking meals kids can eat without relying solely on utensils.
Zucchini boats are a great way to pack a ton of ingredients into one easy-to-eat meal.
Plus, you can even add a cheese sail for an added nautical theme!
Try changing up a classic grilled cheese sandwich by rolling individual slices. The rolls take an already popular sandwich and make it even easier to eat.
Plus, it takes up less room in your child’s lunch box.
Put a spin on classic finger foods like corn-on-the-cob by cutting the cobs into smaller pieces, then placing them on toothpicks to resemble flowers.
Sometimes it’s the amount of food on a plate that’s unappealing to the child, so making small bite-sized portions can ease a child into eating these foods.
Try using one ingredient as a little “plate” for other foods in the recipe.
Foods that can act as plates include:
• Bagel Chips
• Tostones (flattened, and fried Platanos)
3) Hold Kitchen Competitions
Televised cooking competitions are huge, and the fanbase is no longer just adults but their kids as well.
There are even cooking competitions with kid contestants, which is inspiring more kids around the country to learn how to cook.
You can encourage your kids to be more proactive about their nutrition by allowing them to be the chef for a night, with your supervision of course.
A fun way to do this is by setting up guidelines for what the meal must include, which could mean one protein and a side dish (preferably a vegetable), then taking your child to the store with you so they can pick out their ingredients.
If they’re the competitive type, you can give them a time limit, have family members act as judges, or even let siblings each make their own dish as they battle it out for culinary greatness!
Okay, it’s not that serious, but you’ll witness just how much a kid will start caring about their nutrition if you show them that being healthy isn’t boring.