Getting your kids to get to the dinner table sounds easier than it is. When they are fully involved in an activity that demands their attention, the last thing they want to do is eat. If your food is unappealing, getting them excited about their meal will make it even more challenging. There are some things you can do to get your child excited about nutrition and meal time.
Here are some awesome ways to make your child an enthusiastic eater.
Appeal to All Five Senses
When it comes to eating, all senses are being used. Things like hearing or touch can get overlooked while thinking of the perfect meal to feed your child. As you develop new things, try to have something that lets them embrace each sense. It is never too soon to teach your child how to eat mindfully. When they eat, point out sounds and smells they might not notice so they can enjoy the experience.
Let them inspect what new veggies or food you present to your kids. Talk them through observations like the squishiness of grapes or how broccoli can look like a tree. Bring to light that it made a crunching noise or the sensation of the grape bursting after biting down.
Grow Your Own Food
Gardening with your child can help them be more excited to eat when the time is right. The anticipation of planting fruits or vegetables will excite them to eat once they have grown. Also, knowing where the food comes from will give you peace of mind while serving it to your kids.
Getting to plant, pick and taste the foods you grow together will be a fun way to excite them to eat. Explain how the process works so they know how long it will take and how the seeds will eventually grow into avocados, cherry tomatoes, strawberries or whatever you plant.
Make a Grocery List Together
Have your kids get involved with the shopping experience. You can make a list using pictures or words and let them decide what produce they want to try. After you come up with a list, head to the store and turn it into a scavenger hunt. Use the pictures or works and ask your children to point them out in the store to make it more engaging.
Making things fun for kids gives them an outlet to be creative. After a long day at school, they may need to use the rest of their days for play. Around 41% of school districts don’t make recess mandatory, affecting their development. Play is vital in learning, so meshing the two ideas is the perfect way to learn while having fun.
Let Them Cook
Hands-on activities stimulate your children’s senses and get them interested in trying different foods. Allowing them to prepare their meal can make them feel at ease while eating something unfamiliar or put them in the mood to eat.
Along with cooking, you can make a fun treat like ants on a log, introducing new foods while letting them have fun creating the snacks. Creating meals alone can help build self-confidence and promote healthy eating habits. If you have a picky eater, challenge them to combine new foods with foods they already know so it feels safer. You can make a trail mix that can easily add fresh fruits or nuts or try a salad and throw in a couple of new veggies.
Use Fun Utensils
When mealtime is taking forever, little things like adding fun utensils could do the trick to make it fly by. So many creations now can make eating fun, such as forks that look like planes or a tongue. There are even cutouts for sandwiches that make it look like you took a lot of time creating a picture of a Minion on their sandwich but simply used a cutter.
Dinner plates can look like a fun board game, so they “win” after they complete their meals. Along with other creative inventions like dressing up a doll with food on the plate or making funny faces with food face plates. Adding small things like this will make mealtime more fun for everyone.
Get Creative on the Presentation
How food is arranged makes a difference in what your kids may be willing to eat. Create pictures out of the food our spell out words with brightly colored veggies. Taking an extra step to get creative on the presentation can make a significant difference in the enthusiasm of meal time. You can devise different ways to present the plates or let your kids get involved so they can be a part of the creation too.
The Bottom Line
Meal time with children can be difficult. Trying new ways to make the experience exciting can help your child become excited to eat over dreading it.
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