“Are there vegetables again? And why all of a sudden potatoes? Where are my fries? , whole grain! ” Are these scraps of conversation that also fall at your dining table and lead to a little family drama every day? Don’t worry, today you will get some helpful tips on how to introduce the little ones to your new, healthy diet. You can also look forward to a few cool recipes that are absolutely child-friendly! Here we go…
1. Eating healthy is the rule
‘It’s still growing, it’s all baby fat!’ one hears often. But how much longer? Too much sugar in the form of white flour products, sweet drinks or snacks sets in at a young age. Fat cells that are once there no longer disappear. If they are ‘fed’ regularly, the result is quickly reflected in obesity. As a parent, YOU decide what ends up on the plate. Make it clear from the start that a lot of fruit and vegetables with wholesome side dishes, water or tea, few sweets are considered normal and unhealthy things in the form of sweet drinks, greasy foods and more than a handful of sweets per day are perceived as the exception.
2. We are family – the weekly plan
Together as a family, create a meal plan – which of course fits your Food and Culture nutrition plan ! Let the little ones have a say in what goes on the plate. It is best to set some kind of conditions according to the plate rules of the nutrition plan. A great little game based on the motto ‘What is still missing on the plate’ can be made out of this. You are welcome to add side dishes to some of the low carb dishes for the kids – depending on which plate rule you choose.
Below I have selected 3 recipes for you that are easy to conjure up child-friendly side dishes.
3. Shopping together
With the weekly plan you create a shopping list together. If possible, take your kids with you to shop. Let them choose the healthy foods and put them in the cart. In purely psychological terms, children prefer to eat what they have determined themselves. ‘Who Picks the Most Beautiful Broccoli?’ – make a kind of challenge out of it!
Spend most of the shopping in the healthy departments and, if at all, only a little time with sweets and co. Every now and then you can let your kids choose a type of fruit or vegetable they don’t know yet. There are many ways of relating to healthy food.
4. Cooking together
If you, as a parent, take on the ‘big’ tasks of cooking, encourage your kids to help wash or cut a colorful salad – it goes well with every dish as a starter and should always be with you. This is how you get your children used to the fact that such a salad is a part of it at a young age.
5. Set the table
It promotes the entire routine when the dining table is set together. Set up a fixed place for everyone, also like to rotate every week. This makes it clear that people are eating at the table and not on the sofa with the television on. As a result, the kids develop an awareness of meals and then presumably live this habit in their adult lives.
6. Monkey say Monkey do
Be a role model! Your kids get used to the lifestyle that you model for them. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet, enjoy sweets in moderation and highlight them as specials, your kids will do the same. If you make time for each meal at the table and only focus on your food during that time , they will do it that way.
7. Mission Impossible? No!
If, despite your efforts, there are long faces and vegetables are rejected, here are a few extra tips:
- Don’t stress that it’s healthy! That could be ‘uncool’ for the kids, so it is denied from the start. Would you rather go in the direction of colors – how beautifully colorful everything looks, which favorite colors can you discover?
- Be patient! There are always phases in which children do not feel like doing anything in particular. Don’t force anything on them, healthy eating should always be treated positively. As soon as a compulsion arises you have lost.
- Trick 17! Secretly, cut very small, try to cheer up a bit of vegetables every day. For example in a minced meat tomato sauce with the (whole grain) spaghetti.
8. In moderation, not in bulk
Back then, my mother gave us simple, small Tupperware jars that my sister and I were allowed to fill with sweets once a week. So we could organize everything ourselves. If the box was empty, it was just empty and we had to wait another week. Worked wonderfully
In general, children do not need to go on a diet – after all, you don’t do any, but instead choose the path to a healthier lifestyle and that cannot harm anyone. It’s not about demonizing or completely banning the unhealthy. It makes sense to get the kids used to a conscious and healthy diet at an early age. Sweets and fast food are special features, fruit, vegetables and whole foods are natural for the little ones.