A million-dollar question for almost every parent – how do I get my kid to eat better?
Here are a few tips and tricks that might be helpful in getting your kids to eat better and healthier!
1. Change your own eating habit – Sorry for not mincing the words and being brutally honest! Your kid emulates your own eating pattern. If they are eating unhealthy, there is a very good chance that you are stocking up fried and junk food at home. Or maybe, you are eating out, or having junk food too often and kids are noticing it too!
2. Presentation – Present food in a manner that the kids like it. For example, a heart-shaped dosa OR square & triangle-shaped chapati, etc are an easy way to influence kids and make them more curious about food. Another great way to make your kid curious is to make the food look colourfull and present it well in the plate. You can bring almost every colour palette into the plate with varieties of vegetables, fruits, capsicum (yellow/red) etc
3. Story – Create a story around the food. Tell your kid how Popeye eats his spinach to become strong! Knowing your kid’s favorite action hero always helps!
4. Get kids involved in making food – This is a great way to enthuse your kids into eating the food. Make them part of the cooking process – give them the batter to mix, make them whisk the egg, give the boiled egg to peel or let them mix the ingredients, etc! You are not only making them independent and learn how to cook, but they will also appreciate your effort and cooking for them!
5. Nothing wrong in a bit of sweetness – there is nothing wrong in putting a bit of sugar, jaggery on top of the bread or dosa to make it more compelling for your kid to eat. However, make sure that it does not become an addiction. You may also resort to healthier options such as honey
6. Give them finger foods – Give them a funky looking tiffin bowl and always keep some dry fruits, cashews, almonds, nuts etc. They would love to carry such a box and keep munching from it as a style statement. Make them feel independent and strong!
7. Make it interesting, once in a while – Let us explain this with an example! How about mixing a bit of rolled oats, banana and apple slices, crushed almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds and a bit of honey on the top!? Your kid will LOVE LOVE this. And isn’t this much much easier for you, than making idly, dosa or puttu?
8. Do not force it and make food a turn off – Make sure your kid has a healthy relationship with food. Do not make their lunch/dinner look like a punishment. Positive reinforcement is the key
9. Eat with the kids – Kids enjoy the feeling of “being grown up to a big girl/boy”. Serve food on the dining table and make them eat along with the family
10. Play by age! – Not all tips & tricks are meant for every kid and definitely not for every age! A 3-year-old may find eating with a new fork spoon interesting, while a 10-year-old might need a superhero story! Play by the age of your kid