Parents around the globe know very well how important it is to introduce healthy food for kids at the early stages of their development.
Edible flowers and vegetables are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for a child’s optimal growth. Yet it remains a challenge for parents to coax their kids into eating leafy, green vegetables and edible blooms.
So how do you get your children interested in garden variety food rather than unhealthy fast food? The following hacks may help crack the code in developing your kids’ healthy eating habits and assist you in preparing healthy food for kids.
Plant an edible garden to have healthy food for kids
When you teach children about edible flowers and vegetables, they are more likely to welcome them on their plates. One way to do this is to create a garden for them in your yard.
You can involve your child in the garden design by brainstorming about what flowers and vegetables to plant, how to arrange them, and what other decorations can go to make the garden look more beautiful.
For city-dwellers, small-scale urban farming with a plot of concrete or vertical garden is just as feasible and sustainable. You can also enlist the help of an online florist who can give your child tips on basic gardening like watering and weeding. Make sure that you gather the garden produce together with your child by showing him the right time to harvest and the proper way of harvesting.
This will not only give him a sense of accomplishment but also provide him with encouragement to try and taste the fresh produce that he has just picked.
Have a Market Day together to encourage healthy food for kids
Another way to get your child interested and excited about edible flowers and vegetables is to let him choose these things for you in the market.
Before you leave the house, let your child write down a list of flowers and vegetables that you plan to buy from the grocery store like squash flowers, cabbage and radishes.
In the market, keep your child engaged by letting him explore the assorted colours of flower petals, the firmness of tomatoes, and the fragrant smell of herbs. And whether or not they are on your grocery list, play a guessing game with your child as you move through the aisles, pointing your finger to one vegetable to another.
Let your child help in food preparations
The kitchen can be a fascinating place for children. So asking them for help in preparing the dishes, such as washing the vegetables, will boost their skill and confidence.
Kitchen activity also gives you quality time with your child. So use this opportunity to teach him about the importance of nutrition in the body.
Lastly, make sure you keep the activity fun and safe for you and your child. This, in order to sustain their interest in helping with food preparations.
Developing kitchen skills early will significantly help in their adult life when they have to rely on their own cooking for sustenance.
Make food fun and exciting
If your child is picky, prepare something fun and exciting for him.
When cooking, choose vegetables in a wide range of colours. These could include yellow and orange. Cut or slice them into a variety of different shapes like diamond or rectangles.
For example, an All-Veggie Nachos will have your child eating a variety of vegetables and edible flowers in different slices and colours like triangle shaped bell peppers or square shaped cucumbers and tomatoes.
Don’t force your child to eat anything
The most important thing to remember is to consider your own approach and attitude towards eating in general.
It is important to avoid forcing your child to eat vegetables or edible flowers. Instead, just allow him to take them in at his own pace.
He will gradually incorporate this food group into his diet. So keep interesting him with facts on the flowers and vegetables and include them in their plate during meals.
Also read: Are food additives harmful for kids?