FOOD AND CHILDREN
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.