Location Indianapolis, IN
Member Is Offline
Kids & Food
I don’t think you will find a bigger topic in the world than kids & food. I have three kids of my own. My youngest is six and my oldest is thirteen. Keeping them happy when it comes to food is almost impossible. My youngest is the easiest to please and there is a reason for that.
With my two oldest I started off on the wrong foot with them. First I wouldn’t let them in the kitchen while I was working. I mean there are too many things that a kid could get hurt with/by right? The other problem was that I started them off too young with fast food. Once you set the bar to that level it is hard to recover.
In my opinion the worst thing you can do is to kick the kids out of the kitchen while you are making dinner. Yes there are dangers in the kitchen but with proper care the dangers can be avoided. I have learned that the best move is to actually invite them into the kitchen to help with dinner. Even the biggest junk food junkie gets pleasure out of working with mom or dad in the kitchen. Work as a team. Show them how things work. Invite them to help with tasks such as washing the vegetables and getting utensils ready and laid out for you. Make them your official assistant.
Never say to a kid “you won’t like that” or “are you sure you want to eat that?” Let them try new foods. Encourage them. Reward them for it. Make trying new foods exciting and fun. When you go out to dinner do you always have the same things? I know I find myself doing it. But I also like to make a point to try something different. Maybe it is something as simple as trying a different salad dressing even if the name doesn’t sound very appealing. Be enthusiastic about it. Act as if you are getting ready to try a new flavor of candy. Your kids will pick up on your enthusiasm.
What is the point of all this? Make them as curious about trying new foods as they are about trying new candy. My six year old is this way. We go grocery shopping together, watch cooking programs together and work in the kitchen together. She loves it. She isn’t afraid to try anything. She is as fascinated by the produce aisle as she is the candy aisle. If you can get your child interested in food like that then you have a much better chance of him or her being a healthy eater.
One evening tune the tv to a cooking show. Maybe pick a night where the program covers a tasty desert. Everyone loves a good desert. Let your child get comfortable with the host of the show. Then start tuning in to episodes that feature different meats and vegetables. By this time your son or daughter has a relationship of sorts with the host and trusts the product being produced. Why let a cereal commercial do the teaching?
I invite everyone to share their experiences whether they be successful or not. I am certain we can all learn from each other. And if you have a good healthy recipe that you find kids enjoy please share it with everyone.