Meal time can sometimes feel like a battle, it can be stressful for parents and can feel like a chore for kids, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Believe it or not, there is a way to get your kids excited about eating a variety of foods! Here’s how.
Cooking can be fun! Don’t worry about getting everything done perfectly or about small messes in the kitchen, engaging your kids in their food preparation process will encourage them to eat it. They are more likely to try new foods if they had a hand in making them. Start with simple tasks like measuring ingredients, stirring a bowl or tossing a salad.
Let your kids make their own plates or lunchboxes, it is not only empowering them to exercise their independence, but it will get them interested in trying new foods, as most kids will be more willing to add healthy foods to their plate if they have the freedom to choose.
Offering your kids choices is another way to give them the autonomy they crave. It could be a choice between apple slices and banana with peanut butter, both still healthy! Kids might be more excited to try a new dish or a healthy snack if they feel it was their idea.
Kids are naturally curious, so why not take them to a farm or the supermarket and make a fun game out of it. Let them explore and find different shapes and colors and ask them to pick which fruits and vegetables look best to them. You can also watch videos together about how food works in the body, kids love to understand how things work.
The most important key to unlocking your child’s food-curiosity is not to force it. Kids won’t love every food you offer, try more than once with different preparations and changes in taste, encourage them, listen to them, and don’t stress. When you stress about food you transfer that stress to them and you will take the fun out of eating.