Let’s face it, getting kids to eat the food that we know will make them feel good and have energy can be tricky.
Here are 10 things I have learnt to help (I would love to know yours!)
- Accept that they are kids and they should not be worried or anxious about eating.
- Kids like to cook, so find something healthy that`s their dish and they are in charge of making. This little lady in the picture is not great with veggies but has mastered garlic mushrooms and now likes them!
- Some food is often thought to be kids junk when actually it’s not as bad as its reputation. E.g frozen chips sound like junk food, when in fact they are just potatoes and a bit of oil. Understand the ingredients, nutrition and then pick your battles! It is also very easy to get kids making their own (Chop potatoes add oil & little salt then cook in oven for approx 30min)
- Ask other people who kids love for their recipes … when they think it’s a person they loves recipe, it’s usually a winner!
- Talk about what the food is for e.g “You need to eat this so that you have enough energy for football/ playing”, or “This type of a meal will keep you fuller for longer so that you don’t feel grumpy and tired at school” etc.
- Sneak and swap! Swapping maybe half your mince in a Bolognese for lentils is not always noticed if you do not mention it!
- Make meals a time to sit down and talk so that kids have fun whilst they are eating.
- Ensure that kids have plenty of regular snacks so that they do not get HANGRY and then are more likely to insist on junk.
- Make sure that they get extra calories for activities. Often we focus on fuelling for adults exercise but miss out a massive need for kids. Kids often burn more than we do! Make sure they have some good fuel before and after exercise.
- Try to lead by example. Life is a balance.
Some of my favourite recipes are available on instagram (leaphealth.co.uk), Linkedin (Leap Health), or on the website www.leaphealth.co.uk.
I also love simple easy recipes from Myfussyeater (Instagram), Jamie Oliver and good old BBC Food.