My daughter, Ever Love, is three years old, and she loves nothing more than fresh fruits and vegetables. She often requests baked potatoes, sliced cucumbers and green smoothies (though not at the same time).
We share meals together with joy, because we both love to eat fresh, whole foods—straight from the source.
How about your children? What if I told you it was incredibly simple to get your kids loving healthy food as much as my daughter does?
You see, kids often need a bit of time, and a few tries, to develop a taste for a new food. Engaging experiences with food can inspire a lifelong taste for healthy foods.
That’s why the following steps are my favourite tips for making food fun for kids—and for their mums:
Let them select the produce themselves. Take your angel shopping with you. Your local farmer’s market is a beautiful place to shop and a rich experience for your children, too.
Let them choose each meal. Why not? You get to choose what you want for dinner, and children love to do the same. “But he’ll just eat watermelon all day if I let him do that!” …And? So what? Then watermelon it is. You are there to guide, not to trick or force. Show your children the respect you wish for them to show the world. If you’re worried about them eating too much fruit, don’t. There’s no such thing.
Keep their favourite foods on hand throughout the day. A few deliciously simple ideas are fresh coconut meat and fresh coconut water, bananas, grapes, apples, and whatever other fruits are in season. Kids love fruit, and it’s the ultimate “fast food.”
Present food in original ways by cutting it into different shapes and sizes. A child may gravitate for a few days, weeks, or months toward a specific shape. For example, one week my daughter liked her avocado spoon-fed to her, and then the next week she liked it in cubes on a plate so she could pick it up on her own.
Eat with your children. My favourite times of day are eating and sleeping with my daughter right beside me. Meals are so beautiful when shared in good company, and whose company does your child enjoy more than yours? Eat, connect, be silent, laugh, kiss, talk, play. Whatever you both feel is perfect—do that, and do it together.
So, why do kids hate healthy food?
It’s a trick question—they don’t!
How do you teach your kids to eat healthy? Please share your parenting wisdom in the comments.