“Don’t play with your food!” This has got to be one of things parents say most often to their children at mealtimes. But what do you do when your child refuses to eat? At times like these, parents will do just about anything to get their children to eat a balanced diet.
How to get your child eating better
- Children tend to copy what their parents do, so you should lead by example. Don’t expect your child to eat something if they see you rejecting it.
- Be consistent. The eating habits you instil in them at home and at school should take the same line and never contradict each other.
- Cook with them. And while doing so you can talk about the benefits of the ingredients you are using. For example, show your children how, apart from adding flavour, olive oils have numerous health benefits. And as a reward… they’ll proudly eat their creations!
- Do you have trouble getting your child to eat certain foods? Try a different texture! For example, if they hate a particular vegetable, try serving it as a purée. They might love it!
- Give them time. We don’t all eat at the same speed. Let them enjoy their food at their own pace, without rushing them.
- Try masking flavours they don’t like with others that they do like; for example, if you want to serve a vegetable they dislike, try lightly sautéing it with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of curry powder.
- Take your child’s favourite meal and try out a few variations. For example, if they love gazpacho, try making a beetroot gazpacho to introduce more variety into their diet.
- Get them to help you draw up a weekly or even a monthly meal plan. You’ll be surprised at what they come up with!
- Bring a creative touch to your dishes to make them more appetising. Like adults, children also eat with their eyes!
- Make time spent at the table fun and enjoyable to ensure that your children always associate mealtimes with happy times.
We hope these tips will give you a helping hand when it comes to getting your children to enjoy their food. And if you have any suggestions, be sure to leave a comment. Other parents will no doubt appreciate it!