Today, we are going to explore 5 tips for making kids meal times more fun and nutritional. Kids often turn into zombies that are glued to their screens and we as parents often have to resort to meal blackmail so to speak. One of the primary culprits behind fussy eaters is the changing lifestyle and inconsistent eating habits in most households.
Kids have become more selective towards the foods they want to eat, and they often do not want to try new foods. But the goods news is that this can be easily turned around by trying the following tips for making kids meal times more fun and nutritional. It is time to put your creative hat on and start thinking outside the box.
5 Tips for making kids meal times more fun and nutritional
Making new foods exciting
Kids often do not want to try new foods. With these tips you can pique their interest in when introducing new foods.
- Introduce small portions with some of their old favorites.
- Give them time to get used to it by letting them touch, smell and finger lick it. Often once they have tasted it, they will appreciate it right away.
- Use different colors and patterns to make the food more creative and interesting-looking.
- Try to introduce something from all food groups. If they do not like potatoes for instance, try to serve corn or sweet potatoes that are also starches.
- Involve them during grocery shopping and food preparation since it will help to get them interested in the food.
Centre mealtimes around family
One of the best ways to combat picky eating patterns is by introducing the traditional rule of family mealtimes. Kids look up to their parents or elder siblings and follow by example. Family mealtimes is another excellent way of introducing healthy habits like eating mindfully, washing hands beforehand, explaining the nutritional benefits of healthy meals, and sharing quality time together as a family.
Steer clear from empty calories
These include calories that are made up of only sugar and fat and are often found in ice cream, biscuits, fizzy drinks, etc. Try to limit introduction of these foods and do not keep them where it is easily accessible and in plain view. Rather introduce healthy and easy snacks like cucumbers, nuts, carrots, etc.
Avoid external distractions
Apart from picky eating habits, parents often struggle with the concept revolving screen-time. This entails the time spent by kids staring at tablets, TV screens, mobile phones, or PCs. When kids have their meal times while having screen-time they often overeat or under-eat resulting in ill-nourishment during their growing years. It also encourages mindless eating habits and poor health advantages.
Avoid setting unrealistic goals
When it comes to parenting and setting boundaries, you should try not to worry about the child’s judgement. Drawing too much attention will only encourage them to keep misbehaving.
Effective tips for reaching your goals include:
- Engaging kids during food preparation. Give them basic tasks like making a sandwich, serving food, sorting veggies, or packing their own lunch box. Tasks will help them to choose healthier food options and take more interest in meals.
- Allow your kids to eat as much or as less as they like. Their appetites keep fluctuating, and you should not force them to eat more.
- Never compare your picky child with his or her friends or siblings. Each child is unique, and kids are sensitive to emotional behavior, and should be nurtured with great care.
If you have a fussy or picky toddler in the house, be sure to try these 5 tips for making meal times more fun and nutritional to see if you notice any improvement. Remember, toddlers can be difficult and they absolutely do not appreciate change in any form. They are also prone to tantrems when they do not get their way. Try to remain patient and calm at all times. I know it can be a challenge. But try to remember that you were also a kid once and struggled to decipher all the emotions that you are feeling.