We are all aware that children should be consuming a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. But, what if you child is a fussy eater? They only like certain foods and have trouble experimenting with new food groups.
We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help your child overcome this, as well as providing you with some delicious recipes. Try them out and let us know how you get on.
Starting a Healthy Lifestyle
There are many things you could do to help transform your child’s eating habits. For example:
Get Your Child Involved
When planning and preparing your child’s meals, why not get them involved? It has been proven that children are more likely to try new food groups if they have been involved in the selecting and making process. For example, you could allow your child to pick out their favourite colours, if they like red, offer a selection of strawberries, raspberries or cherries and see which they’d like.
Food is Not a Reward
It is very important to remember that food should not be seen as a reward, if your child does well and you give them a bar of chocolate because of it, they will have the idea that fatty, sugary foods are better options than healthy foods. They are being rewarded, so these foods must be special.
We’re not saying don’t ever give your child chocolate because, in moderation, it’s okay. Just try to make sure your child doesn’t value sugary foods more than healthy foods - this could lead to excessive consumption when they’re older.
What if they don’t like Healthier Alternatives?
Children typically do not like to eat certain foods, in most cases wholegrain bread. Fibrous foods tend to be too filling for small children and can even cause discomfort. Don’t be upset if this is to occur, instead try supplying fibre in different ways such as through beans, nuts or making your own nutritious dip. See how you get on and try again when they’re older, start off with brown pasta, rice and bread until you’re confident they may enjoy whole grain.
Ask Other Parents
When trying to find inspiration, it is a good idea to talk to other parents and ask about their experiences, this will allow you to see what has worked for their child in a similar age group.
Of course, you’ve probably carried out a wide range of research on different food groups, but why not let your child have a go? Set your child some tasks and ask them to make their own ‘shopping list’. This is not only the perfect way to keep your child busy, it will also give you an insight into their ideal foods and get them excited to try them once they have been purchased. Most children love learning so this idea is the perfect fit.
Drinks also play a key role in boosting your child’s balanced diet. Instead of giving your child fizzy, sugary drinks, why don’t you try providing them with water, milk, smoothies or even yoghurts. See how they get on, but remember, it’s a process, so it may take time.
Our Favourite Dishes
Peanut Butter Apples
This is one of the most simple, yet tasty recipes. All you need to do is select an apple, chop it in half and spread some peanut butter on both sides. This will give your apple a kick and provide more protein.
You could also chop your apple into sticks and dip them in the peanut butter, whatever is easiest for you.
As the name may suggest, transforming your normal sandwiches into star shaped sandwiches will make your child feel as though they are eating something from out of this world.
For this, you will need to make the sandwich of your choice (we suggest a healthy, free range chicken salad sandwich) on brown bread and cut into a star shape. You can either do this freehand or using a star shaped cutter to stamp it out.
This requires a few more steps. You will need to:
- Place the amount of pasta you’d like in a pan and cook for up to 10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and shake well until all excess water has gone.
- Add oil, cheese (not too much), tomatoes and meat of your choice.
- Stir together and serve.
Transforming your child’s diet may not be as hard as you first thought, all you need is to get creative, involve your child and have fun.