How to get your Child to Try new Food and Eat Healthy
Posted Jun 05 2011 3:14am
Getting your child to try new foods and eat healthy is a battle most parents struggle with on a daily basis. But one of the easiest ways to get your junk food-loving picky eater to explore new foods is to simply let him or her get more involved in the kitchen. Preparing meals together also as many other additional benefits, including encouraging family-bonding time and teaching your child basic math skills. But for some, allowing your child to wash fruits and veggies and whisking eggs isn't enough to get your child interested in the process. Instead, follow these creative ways to get your child involved in the kitchen and make meal time a fun experience for the entire family.
One of the easiest ways to get your child to eat right and try something new is to allow your child to decide what the family will eat for dinner. That's not to say that if the child wants chocolate cake that's what will be served as the main encore. Rather, you should give your child options (all should be of nutritional value). Even if your child dislikes all the options, in the end your child will choose the options that sound more promising to them. Making this decision will also help your child feel more empowered because the choice is ultimately theirs—you are not forcing particular foods that they "really" hate down their throats.
Additional tips: you may also try to give creative titles to certain meals and items to make them sound more appealing such as "dinosaur food" for salad or "a little mermaid's feast" for seafood dinners. You make also consider using cooking cutters to make creative shapes out of certain sandwiches and vegetables for example.
Another easy way to get your child to eat healthy and try new foods is gather children's books that deal with a particular food and then make a meal or snack that correlates with the theme of the book. For example, reading the Adventures of Peter Cotton Tail is a sure fire way to get your child interested in carrots, celery and cabbage. Reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is also another book to spark your child's interest in pasta. Whether it's smearing peanut butter on celery sticks or pouring in the pasta sauce just let your child help prepare the snack or meal. Other books to consider are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Vegetables We Eat and Gregory, the Terrible Eater.
Another way to make the experience educational and fun is to host "themed" dinners once a month. This is executed by picking a meal that comes from a particular country to prepare that night. You can decorate the dinner table to correlate with the country of origin and play traditional music for example. A themed dinner will not only get your child to try new foods but will also expose them to new cultures as well. Once again to get your child involved in the cooking process choose foods that are easy for children to assemble such as pizzas (Italian night); tacos or tostadas (Mexican Night) and sushi (for Japanese night).
Lastly, you can host a Murder Mystery Dinner. Mystery dinners are more or less a live versions of the game Clue. They sell kits but they can easily be hand-crafted a home. You the parent would need to create a story, create characters and formulate hand write clues in a way that tells the characters what they need to do in order to solve the mystery at the end of the meal. Kids get to play dress up while putting their investigative skills to the test. For so more info about how this works click here . For some great meal ideas for a mystery murder dinner, click here .
Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities , contributed this guest post. She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.