Over two thirds of parents around the world want to improve their children’s eating habits, while only 15% of parents describe themselves as “happy” with their children’s current eating habits. Fortunately, helping your children develop a healthy relationship with food doesn’t have to be difficult. By taking a number of simple steps, you can easily nurture a love of food and nutrition in your children.
Make mealtimes memorable
Making mealtimes fun and enjoyable is an easy way to get kids enthusiastic about food. This can be as simple as using your best tableware or turning dinnertime into a casual picnic or buffet. Mealtimes are also the perfect opportunity for quality family time during which you chat about everyone’s day or play fun games. You could also sometimes do food tasting sessions, which involve trying out different new flavorful dishes together
Teach your kids to cook
Getting your kids involved in the kitchen from an early age isn’t just a fun activity for you to do together, it can also play a key role in teaching them life-long skills and nurturing a love of food. Be sure to start with quick and easy recipes with short ingredients lists (which are ideal for children’s shorter attention spans). You’ll also need effective and safe kitchen tools suitable for little ones. For example, a robust step stool can help small children reach the kitchen counter. A good set of non-slip bowls can also allow children to mix, mash, and whisk without the risk of the bowl tipping over; the non-slip, rubber ring bottom means kids can be as enthusiastic as they want!
Let your children make their own food-related choices
Allowing your children the ability to make their own food-related choices can help them get more enjoyment from food, as well as help them develop independence. So, for example, rather than force food upon them or tell them “no you can’t have that”, teach your children how to make their own healthy choices. Encourage them to start getting in tune with their bodies and the potential underlying reasons behind cravings (boredom versus true hunger, for example).
Nurturing a love of food in your children needn’t be complicated. By making mealtimes fun, teaching your kids to cook, and letting them make their own choices, your children will soon love food as much as you do.