Carrots help you see in the dark; eating spinach will make you strong like Popeye; an apple a day keeps the doctor away… You probably heard these when you were growing up, and chances are you repeat them to your children too. Getting children to eat what’s good for them can be quite a challenge! So how do you get them to eat their greens? The best way is to make food fun!
1. Focus on colour — use a combination of colours in their daily meals. Red, yellow, green peppers, spinach, corn, carrots are some great ways to add colour to boring meals. Adding foods of every colour in a daily meal will ensure that your child’s body gets the wide variety of nutrients that it needs to grow strong and healthy.
2. Gain their Interest — cut whatever you can in a fun shape: carrots can be cut into diamonds, cucumber as a flower or even heart shape sandwiches!
3. Involve children in preparing the food— involve children in the daily menu planning, preparation, even food shopping. It will teach them to take responsibility for decisions and also make them want to eat what they have been involved in preparing.
4. Be creative when serving food– keep the portion sizes small and manageable. Small sized and finger foods are always fun. Bite sized sandwiches or mini muffins are likely to catch a child’s attention.
5. Have fun with food — the younger ones will enjoy using cheese as building blocks or broccoli as trees. Involve your child in the cooking process and have fun!
6. Make fun names for everyday foods - such as Witch Stew, Penelope the Pineapple etc…
7. Let the kids make choices. Have a variety of sauces for dipping, children love to create their own dishes. Why not let them build their own taco using healthy ingredients?
Are you a childcarer and want to gain a formal qualification in food and nutrition for children and young people?
We will be working in partnership with Babyem to deliver a Nanny Cookery Course – Introduction to Food and Nutrition for Children and Young People (OCN Level 3). This accredited cooking course is suitable for nannies, domestic workers, housekeepers and au pairs wishing to become more confident and gain skills in preparing healthy food for babies and children. Courses have been designed by a qualified nutritionist with extensive experience working with children and families privately, as well as with local authorities and charities throughout the UK. The next date is the 24th February. Find out more.