Kids are picky eaters, leave them to their own choice and their daily meals might be in the form of sugar, sugar, sugar, maybe some cheese if you are lucky, and more sugar. Getting them to eat a healthy diet is really important; this is their developing stage, a diet that lacks essential nutrients might have lifelong consequences.
Now as a parent, convincing them to eat their wholesome veggies and the delicious fruits that you love, seems like a herculean task, but more than the famed strength of Hercules, guile is the noun that is required here. When it comes to kids, developing habits is important. You can do as the Houyhnhnms in Jonathan Swift’s classic novel, Gulliver’s Travels, did with their young ones, not let them taste anything sweet till they are five.
Their ignorance is bliss for you; but if that seems a bit too harsh for your taste, we have a few fun and healthy recipe ideas which will provide your kids the nutrition they need, while still titillating their taste buds.
- The sugar – Kids love white sugar, which unfortunately has bare minimum nutrition value; it also gives them a rush which can make them a nuisance, or incredibly fun. In either case, replacing refined white sugar with an unrefined sugar has many benefits. A 2009 study showed that replacing white sugar with unrefined sugar means an increase in the daily antioxidant intake equal to the amount found in one serving of nuts of berries. Honey is also a good substitute for some dishes.
- The ice cream and fruits- Who doesn’t love ice cream? It brings out the kid in many adults too, but commercial ice cream has many disadvantages. The preservatives, food coloring, high amount of white sugar and more make them a delicious nightmare for parents. Kids love it and want to eat it all the time. Ditching the commercial ice cream and making your own ice cream at home puts you in control of what goes inside the ice cream.
Fruit-based ice creams with unrefined sugar make for a delicious and healthy treat. You can choose 40% fruit pulp with 10% unrefined sugar, and the rest heavy cream to make a delicious ice cream. Experiment with different fruits and combinations, and you will find yourself enjoying it as much as your kid. You can opt for yogurt instead of cream if you want a low-fat frozen dessert.
- The vegetables- The dreaded vegetables, how can you make your kid like them? The task becomes even tougher if you can’t eat them yourself! A little tinkering and addition of some meat and natural cheese can make those vegetables incredibly savory. For the vegetarians and the vegans among us, a Thai style curry with rice can become your most used recipe. An orange or pineapple juice marinade with sautéed or grilled vegetables and some soy sauce is simple and tastes great. Experiment with flavors, a little saltier perhaps, or sweet, or maybe sour, you can be sure you will find a combination which your kids will love.
You can also try whole grain bread sandwiches and pasta with assorted vegetables. Kids enjoy wraps too! Choose from low fat and less calorie dense sauces, a savory tomato and onion sauce cooked with herbs and different condiments is a good option along with mustard.
You can also make a homemade mint sauce. There are endless possibilities when it comes to sauces, addition and changing the quantity of ingredients results in a completely different flavor.
Try these recipe ideas and ensure that your kids get a healthy meal that is fun to cook and delicious to eat.