Fun Healthy Food for Kids
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Make food more fun for children by being inventive with the shapes and appearance of their diet. Try a new twist on some old favorites and get kids to eat healthy.
Children can be fickle when it comes to food and it’s hard to keep up with what they like. One week they might love granola bars, so you stock up on those only for them to inform you the next week they don’t like them anymore and haven’t for at least a year. They seem to have a totally different concept of time.
You can offer children very similar foods that are still healthy and nutritious, but served in different shapes or ways and all of a sudden they like them again.
- A ham and cheese sandwich for example is very plain, yet wrap that in a tortilla or on a pita and it’s an exciting new meal.
- Put a smiley face on a muffin with raisins or make the vegetable dip smile and it looks more edible to kids.
- Cut apples up into bite size portions and make a dip with yogurt.
- Use metal cookie cutters to make different shaped pancakes. (Pour the batter inside a heart, elephant, star etc.) You can also shape bread with cookie cutters for sandwiches.
- Make a popsicle out of a banana by inserting a popsicle stick into it. If you put a little syrup on it then coconut, nuts or raisins will stick to it before freezing.
- Let children decorate their own pizza offering all sorts of colorful healthy toppings. Here's a fun recipe for homemade pizza.
- Ask your kids to assist you in making kebabs. They can pick out their own ingredients, but give them healthy choices like cherry tomatoes, pineapple, mushrooms, peppers or baby corn. It’s fun for them and they’re more likely to eat something they helped make.
- Experiment with different shaped noodles. The same spaghetti sauce just seems more fun somehow on shells, bows or butterflies.
- Give your meals crazy names like Betty Crocker does. Sometimes meals are made on the fly and you’re not even sure what it is, so make something up! Meatballs with rice can become porcupines. Toothpicks with strips of meat, vegetables or fruit attached can become boats. Peanut butter and raisins on celery are called bumps on a log.
- Sneak their wheat germ or bran into their oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies. Enough so that you know they're eating healthy, but not enough for them to notice.
If you observe different daycares you can see a big difference in some of them with their approaches to food. Some will just throw the food on the table and demand the children eat, while others will really go out of their way to make it fun for them. Food can be playful and fun and it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be a serious chore to eat.