Getting kids to eat healthily can be easier said than done. Poppy started off as a great eater and slowly has become pickier as she gets older. Sometimes I can’t keep up with her flip-flopping of liking something one day and then hating it the next. Of course, I ran out and bought a case before we decided it was disgusting. Eating healthy is an active ongoing conversation and I try to help her understand why it’s important to make healthy choices. We talk about how her body feels when she eats too much of something.
In addition to the dialogue, we also have her play an active role in the kitchen. She has her own knife and peeler from a company called Le Petit Chef and participates in helping prepare her lunch and dinner, from cutting grapes and peeling carrots to measuring liquids and whisking. She always feels proud of her accomplishment and excited to eat her creation.
Another way we have connected her to food is through gardening. Each year, she helps me pick what we are going to plant. She has her own section to plant, water and tend to. Seeing a seed become sprout and sprout become an edible food has always been fun and exciting to her, and she looks forward to helping turn it into a meal.
Lastly, I have always added carrots and zucchini into pancakes and bread, finely chopped mushrooms into pasta sauce, and greens into smoothies to help sneak in some extra nutrients.
Teaching kids where food comes from and getting them involved will help you get outside the box when it comes to healthy eating...literally the box of mac and cheese.