Although the common belief is that all children will run a mile as soon as they so much as look at a vegetable or a piece of fruit, there are actually a lot of children out there who love to eat healthy things.
They’re not especially aware of the health benefits, it’s just that they either naturally enjoy this stuff, or that they also were introduced to it in a different way.
Children – especially young children, are quite naturally rebellious, and while this can be a good thing as they develop their own personalities, it can present many parents with a bit of a challenge as they try to look after their children who seem determined to do the complete opposite of what the parents want them to do.
Like many things when it comes to children, the best way to pique their interest and get them enthusiastic about something, is to simply include them in it and make it fun and interesting for them.
Cooking is one of those things.
Sure, it can be quite stressful for parents to have children cooking alongside, because they will want to touch everything, and will likely leave a bit of a mess behind.
So, of course, it’s not going to be realistic to have the kids in the kitchen with you every single night, but even if you can do it once or twice a week and make it a special thing between you, so they look forward to it, then it will positively impact the things they eat.
If you do any kind of meal prep during the week, you can have them help you out, and depending on their age, you can assign them specific roles in the kitchen so that they feel a sense of responsibility and build their confidence, too.
Of course most children love cakes and sweet treats, so you can also look for different types of recipes together that they can be involved in and help you make, and then they get to eat the things they helped make.
Children love gadgets and are very curious when it comes to buttons, so this is also the perfect opportunity to teach them a little about safety in the kitchen – because of their curiosity and feeling of being included, they will be more likely to pay attention.
You can use things like mixers and blenders, which can be fun because they make a lot of noise, move pretty quickly, and if you allow them to press the buttons, then they’ll enjoy it all the more.
A blender, such as a Blendtec Total is considered great value for money and there are many other options on the market, depending on your needs, so even if it’s just something to keep the little ones entertained for a while, you can let them put some things into blend into a nice smoothie for themselves or whatever else they fancy blending up.
This will also inspire them to be more creative and to actually get a taste for trying to new things and learning to experiment with different tastes and textures, which is ultimately what will keep them interested in trying new foods and eating a balanced diet throughout their lives.
Whether you decide to include them in the actual cooking process or not, the main thing is really getting them to eat things that are given to them, so maybe consider picking up some cookbooks that give some ideas on how to make food seem more fun for them.
Instead of just presenting them with a plate of vegetables as a snack and hoping for the best, why not try to form the vegetables into a funny face or something they would think is fun instead?
You don’t even need to buy cookbooks for this, you can find plenty of ideas online by just looking on Google, or if you dare to lose yourself for days, then you can also have a look on Pinterest.
There are many different ways to get your kids interested in different types of food, and really the main thing to do is not to try and force the issue with them if they really don’t like something, as this will just cause them to reject it more.
If you want them to eat a plate of vegetables, then you really have to learn not to make a big deal out of it – let them be naturally curious and they’ll either like it or they won’t. Also remember that just because they don’t like something, doesn’t mean they won’t like all healthy things.
There are things that we like as adults, and things that we don’t like, so we have to understand that children are really no different in that respect. If you want them to get a taste for something, then it’s important to start experimenting as early as possible.