Preparing your kids healthy food, plate by plate
Children’s minds and bodies are constantly developing. Good nutrition is the best foundation for optimal development: healthy food plays a vital role in building strong immune systems, growing healthy bones and muscles, and ensuring wellbeing all round.
Balance is the key to a healthy diet: an active child’s dinner plate should generally comprise a third each of vegetables, carbohydrates and protein (whether protein portions consist of meat such as fish or chicken or a vegetarian source of protein such as legumes).
Although treat foods can be consumed in small amounts by older children, it is best for kids to follow a diet rich in vegetables and other nutritious foods that include as little saturated fat and refined sugar as possible.
What about fussy eaters?
Some children have no qualms about eating their veggies, but others make a fuss when presented with healthy food that is earthy, green or leafy. As all parents know, younger children learn by imitation, so the first thing you can do to persuade your kids to eat healthily is to set an example and eat healthily yourself. When your kids see that mom and dad eat vegetables regularly, they are more likely to follow suit.
Another way to make sure your kids eat the good stuff is to become a master of disguise – you can easily incorporate shredded or grated vegetables in your kids’ favourite meals so that they provide (cleverly concealed) vital nutrients. You can also experiment with changing how vegetable look. Kids’ imaginations are vivid. Simply presenting vegetables that are packed with nutritional value in novel ways (such as serving broccoli upright as a ‘magic forest’ or carrots cut into shapes) might be all it takes to make your home the headquarters of healthy eating for kids.