The most common question I get before Mom's commit to our group challenge is: Are these family friendly? I really don't want to have to cook separate meals! My answer is this: I believe our meals are family friendly because they are bright, colorful, presentable, nutritious and more! My kids eat our meals. I've personally never been one to cook two different meals for my kids and us. I have cooked separate meals for my hubby, but that's a different story :)
Here are some tips I have to make meals more fun and desirable for kids:
- Let them help. If they feel apart of it, it gives them a deeper desire to want to eat it. Trust me when I tell you, I'd rather just get it done as quickly as possible, but try to give them a small part in meal prep.
- Give them options. For example; "Are you guys hungry for oatmeal or pancakes?" "Do you want green beans or broccoli with dinner?" Giving the child options also includes them , giving them more desire to eat it.
- Presentation is everything! Give them bright colors, use their favorite plates, make it a game, stack it up, spread it out. Get creative. This is fun and not as time consuming as you'd think.
- Eat it yourself. The more they see it, the more it becomes ingrained in them. They want what we have. If you're doing it, they will join eventually.
- Bribery. I know some will disagree with the notion, but we've all used bribery in parenting! If you're desperate to get them to try a new food, try using a treat, show, game or something they love as a trade off.
Bottom line is this: Don't give up! If you are consistent with presenting healthy food and options, they will eventually join in. With kids, they are inconsistent and unpredictable, so go easy on yourself too. Do the best you can and be the best example that you can.
Try to feed into their creativity by allowing them to come up with recipes. Teach them the basics of nutrition by telling them what the food does for their bodies, like eating your nuts with your applesauce will make you strong or having all these colors on your plate will make you fast.
Parents, don't give up on feeding your family healthy because of your children! We're all in this together!
Good LUCK from this mama of four!