Are you tired of picky eaters and crispy faces at a table? It doesn’t need to be like that! Take advantage of the fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables available during summertime and make your kids eat a rainbow. Sometimes they need to eat with their eyes first, so a colorful meal that is nicely presented on their plate will encourage them to eat it all! Besides, the different colors of fruits and vegetables have different, wide range of valuable nutrients to fight diseases and stay healthy. Benefit from vacation time to involve your kids in the kitchen and have as much fun as you can:
Image: Courtesy of Kiddie Foodies
Adapt your kitchen: Before you start, make sure your kitchen is kid-friendly. This is not only about safety, but also about how appealing your kitchen is for your kids. Make it safe, of course, but make it also colorful. Buy some colorful bowls, plates or mugs and welcome your kids to the cooking adventure.
Invite your kids: Ask them to help you prepare the meals or dress up a table. Let them do things they are able to do at their age or prepare the meals together with your kids. Let them wear an apron; they will feel like real chefs :)
Develop their imagination: Ask your kids to imagine a meal: their preferred toy, a hero or any object. Brainstorm with them about the ingredients to use for creating this meal (what fruits, veggies, etc.). This is a great exercise for kids to discover veggies and fruits, their colors and textures.
Encourage creativity: Put a few ingredients in front of your kids and let them "create" their own meal. This works extremely well for snacks, sandwiches or desserts. You will be surprised what they are capable of! Playing with food can be great and fun activity during summertime.
Present it nicely: On many occasions you don’t need to cook separate meals for your kids, make one meal for the whole family, and then just present it differently for your kids. Sometimes it is all about presentation :)
I have tried these different tactics with my daughter when I was introducing new meals in her menu and they worked great. It helped her discover a variety of vegetables and fruits in a pleasant and tasteful way.
In order to help other moms and dads in their cooking adventures, I have created a blog, Kiddie Foodies – http://www.kiddiefoodies.com – where I share my creative, healthy and funny recipes for kids. You can find there main dishes, snacks, sandwiches and desserts ideas for your little tummies. You are welcome to visit my website and try them! Some of the recipes include free printable coloring pages, based on the recipe picture, so your kids can re-create their meal on paper. My daughter loves that!
Have fun together when planning a meal, preparing it and eating with a big smile at a table!
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