Now if like me, you have a kid that would cry and do whatever it takes not to eat her vegetables, then this post to peas or not peas: a healthy eating guide will rescue you literally. Very recently in a quest to ensure that my kids are having a healthy diet, I researched different ideas on how to get my picky eater to eat her veggies.
Scientific research shows that food preferences are largely learned so as a child grows, he/she tends to pick and choose which food they like or dislike. But what happens if it’s your responsibility to feed that child a healthy meal, well, you would have to find a way wouldn’t you? You would I guess.
So the fact remains that it’s so difficult to beg, cajole or even bargain with my ‘threenager’ as they are famously called to eat her peas but with childhood obesity on the rise globally, there is no better time to start feeding my kids healthy food.
Now if you have read this post to this point, you’re a legend! And you have my utmost respect.
So straight to the crucial part, here is a healthy eating guide for kids.
- Offer a variety – Seems obvious doesn’t it? Yet it’s easy to get carried away and stick to certain types of vegetables all the time. At this point, it is worth mentioning that scientific evidence supports offering children a variety of vegetables to improve acceptance. Sounds daunting to you? My advice is to start anyway. Carrots, peas, sweetcorn, broccoli, etc are some of the great starting points.
- Make it colourful – Simply changing the plates, cups and cutleries of my kids when serving vegetables has worked like magic. And after using colourful plates, serve vegetables of different colours too. Most children love colours so this simple trick should get them interested in what’s on the plate.
- No snacking – Yes its very important not to give snacks to your kid just before you serve them vegetables. This is to ensure that they are not already filled with junk or even water before they start eating. (remember they’ve got tiny tummies right)? Now to help you along this journey, you would need to explain to your child why they can’t have crisps, yogurt, etc. before a meal. It’s easier if they understand whats going on.
- Be creative – Creativity here covers a lot of areas. For instance, a little butter in a pan while you cook your vegetables gives it a shiny and sweet flavor. Also, you can call your peas dinosaurs, or incorporate ‘pretend’ play by serving carrots in the shape of a unicorn. You get my drift right?
So in conclusion, I’ve realized mealtimes should not be stressful or drawn out because little changes can be made to make it so much fun.