Nowadays, most mothers struggle to get their children to eat healthy. Eating healthy is a lifestyle and this change needs to be adopted by the entire family. Children are great observers. If they see the adult family members having a healthy meal then they will also be encouraged to have healthy meals.
Some of the simple tips to encourage healthy eating habits are listed below:
1. Eat vegetables first.
Ensure to have the “First vegetables” rule in your family. Children are encouraged to finish vegetables, salads and soups before they start the main course.
2. Cooking techniques
These need to be changed and improvised. Overcooking the vegetables destroys the taste and the nutritional element of the vegetables. Soggy, limp, colourless vegetables are less appealing to anybody’s appetite. Use different styles of cooking like steaming, grilling, sauté and stir fry.
Every style of cooking will give a different taste and look to the food. For e.g.
They are light in taste, cook quickly and retain less water. You need to add the vegetables only after the water is brought to a boil. Add a little bit of spices and salad dressing to make the steamed vegetables tasty.
Soups and stews.
These are healthy food options. They can be made as a wholesome meal by adding vegetables, meats, pastas and noodles. You can add crispy baked brown bread toasted croutons or cubes to make it tasty and crunchy.
These foods and other foods like tofu, paneer etc. will add a distinct flavour to the food. You can mix the vegetables with a barbeque sauce and lightly grill it to make it crunchy and tasty.
This method of stir frying the vegetables is one of the most popular ways of making vegetables. Most of the Asian cuisines stir fry all their vegetables and meats to make a healthy meal. You can use water frying, which means simply sautéing the vegetables in little water and cooking it.
Raw cut vegetables.
Raw vegetables in salads are very good and refreshing. You can encourage your child to munch on fresh carrots, radish, onions, beet, cucumber, tomatoes and other raw vegetables. This is the simplest way, as all you need to do is wash the vegetables thoroughly before eating. Using organic vegetables directly from the farmers market is highly recommended.
Baking the vegetables.
This is another way of tasty cooking. Baking brings out the natural sugars in these vegetables giving them a rich and sweet taste. Some vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, onions, tomatoes etc. have a nice taste after baking.
3. Involve them in gardening
Most of the children who are involved in gardening and know the process of growing fruits and vegetables are more likely to eat and relish those fruits and vegetables.
4. Involve them in cooking
Children can easily help in making salads by washing the vegetables and helping to arrange the cut vegetables and fruits. When they are involved in the process of preparing their own meals, they get self-satisfaction and are encouraged to eat healthy.
5. Eating a meal together.
Eating in front of the television has destroyed the peaceful meal time of sharing with each other in the family. It’s time that you as a family sit together and enjoy your meal.
6. Information about food.
Teaching children the basics like chewing the food, knowing the nutritional elements of the food and enjoying each morsel of the food will enhance the entire digestion process in their body.
7. Presentation of the food
Presentation of the food is an equally important element. If you can cut the vegetables, fruits and whole wheat breads into some nice smiley faces or into different shapes and sizes, then children are more likely to enjoy their meal.
The above are some of the ways which can help you to encourage your family to eat healthy foods.
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