Making healthy food fun for your child

Many a times, we struggle to make our children eat healthy. My friend and I were sitting at a café sharing a pizza and drinking coke wondering ‘How do we make our kids eat healthier? All they want is junk food!’ We looked at our plates and realized where we were going wrong.

I am sharing a few tips that helped us inculcate healthy eating habits in our 6 year old son. They are simple and easy to follow and can benefit all –

  1. First and foremost is, eat healthy yourself. Children may not listen to you but they surely watch what you do. So develop healthy eating habits yourself and you would be surprised how easily your child will start to follow you.
  2. I personally don’t subscribe to a philosophy of “absolute deprivation” i.e. don’t give your child sweets or junk ever. It’s about balance and moderation. Healthy nutritious meals on a daily basis with mild indulgence once a week should be a good regimen. That way, the child understands the importance of a healthy diet but at the same time is not craving for a junk so much so that it saps the interest out of food.
  3. Many tips are available to spike up a boring dish with a new ingredient like stuffed parathas with jam and idlis wrapped with little gun powder around them. Also, for a fussy eater you can make it look more attractive by using moulds and presenting it as their favourite character! You can also use innovative ways like giving chocolate milk with an attractive coloured straw or cutting pancake in different shapes.
  4. When your kid is old enough encourage them to even join youin cooking. You can keep his task simple yet make him feel accomplished about his contribution. For example you can make a simple sandwich together, ask them to place toppings on a pizza, add ingredients to the salad or mix the pasta. Baking is also super fun when done together!
  5. Offer a varietyand engage your kids in a conversation about what they would like to eat. They will be more engaged once they make the choice themselves. They get bored with the same food every day, much like us, so give them a variety to eat.

Ultimately, the idea is for kids to be engaged with food, eat healthy and balance out various food items.

I hope these simple tips help in raising a healthy child. I would love to hear what you do. Please share in comments below and subscribe to my blog for more amazing tips.

I thank PraGun for introducing me on her blog. She blogs about the panch tattvas of life. I, hereby, take the opportunity to introduce Prisha.  Her blogs are inspired by everything around her. Do check out these amazing bloggers.

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44 thoughts on “Making healthy food fun for your child

  1. Very true. We should not deprive the child completely. And I love your pointer to involve the child in cooking. It makes cooking fun as well. Thanks for joining the blog party.

  2. I really like the idea of getting kids to join you as you cook. That way they know what goes into the food, and their stomach as well. Absolute deprivation does not work for adults, how can it work for kids.
    Very helpful other pointers as well. Good one, Prerna.

  3. Prerna, I so agree with you – absolute deprivation leads to nothing, if at all, it makes the child more stubborn and start looking elsewhere to satiate the need for junk food. I too give my daughter her preferred junk or processed food quota once a week.

  4. Very moderated views I must say. And realistic too. In this age of super exposure since young age, it is not possible to keep the kids untouched by processed food. But as you mentioned moderation is the key. Useful Tips.

  5. I totally agree to all the points you have mentioned. I enjoy cooking with my daughter. Simple recipes like Chocolate Balls where no gas stove is required is fun preparing with kids.
    Encouraging kids in conversation is very good idea as they share their thoughts too about like and dislikes. Great post!

  6. We should
    Lead by example . That’s not etrye than we think. Liek they say can’t pour from an empty jug- can’t preach from an empty jug too;)

  7. Absolute deprivation would start a revolution. One definitely has to let kids have their own way with food once in a while. Another thing you have mentioned which I like is our kids learn everything from us and the first thing to do if you want your kid to eat well is to do that yourself.

  8. You’re so right, Prerna in reinstating the fact that we should ourselves be the example to the kids about eating healthy.

    Oh yeah, inclusion creative varieties in food as great options is another way to lure our children into eating, enjoying & satiating themselves.

  9. Involving kids in the cooking process is something I do too. Indulgence once in a while is good as long as kids eat healthy otherwise. Some good tips here. Thanks for sharing.

  10. These are all great tips Prerna. Teaching kids to eat healthily should be fun and creative. Kids tend to follow parents and you rightly said to lead by example.

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