FOOD AND CHIL­DREN

Highfields' Own - - Opinion - BY SHAN­NAN JACK­WITZ, AC­CRED­ITED NATUR­OPATH AND HERBAL­IST

AS A natur­opath with a pas­sion for food as medicine, and be­ing the mu­mof two very spir­ited lit­tle boys, I’m of­ten asked by other par­ents just what ex­actly I choose to feed my chil­dren.

The short an­swer is sim­ple. Nu­tri­ent dense and tasty whole­foods that en­able them to thrive — mind, body and spirit.

The sec­ond ques­tion I’m asked al­most im­me­di­ately after my re­sponse is, “So... how do you do that then?”

The truth is, it’s time-con­sum­ing, takes some ex­tra ef­fort and frankly, it can be in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing.

But, the pay-off is hav­ing chil­dren will­ing to try new things, ones who gen­uinely en­joy good food and con­se­quently, that makes meal times a hap­pier ex­pe­ri­ence for the whole fam­ily.

So here are my top tips to en­cour­age your lit­tle ones to en­joy healthy, yummy food and to take the drama and stress out of meal­time.

MAKE IT PRETTY: We eat with our eyes, and kids are no ex­cep­tion. If any­thing, they are more par­tic­u­lar. So spend a lit­tle ex­tra time and ef­fort in pre­sen­ta­tion. I’m not talk­ing Masterchef and Pin­trest-wor­thy dishes here, but look at it as an op­por­tu­nity to em­brace your artis­tic side by hav­ing a bit of fun and cre­at­ing colour­ful plates of de­li­cious­ness that will have them ‘eat­ing the rain­bow’ in no time. GET THEM IN­VOLVED: Be­fore you start groan­ing, I get it... I re­ally do! I know how painful it can be to cook with chil­dren. But it’s so great for them to start a love of food and its prepa­ra­tion early and I chal­lenge you to find an adult who doesn’t have fond memories of be­ing able to lick the mix­ing spoons when they were kids. EV­ERY­THING IN MOD­ER­A­TION: For me it’s all about en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to make good choices around food while al­ways re­mem­ber­ing that mod­er­a­tion is key.

Last but not least... EN­JOY FOOD TO­GETHER AS A FAM­ILY: Your chil­dren will fol­low your lead and if you have a var­ied and healthy ap­proach to good food, the chances are your kids will fol­low suit.

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