One great way to encourage kids to eat healthily is to get them involved in the kitchen. Let them help with cooking dinner and choosing fruits and veggies at the store. Involving kids in meal prep makes them feel more responsible for their food choices.
Sanna Delmonico, founder of Tiny Tummies, and culinary expert Joyce Goldstein both believe that giving kids a sense of control over their meals can make a difference. They suggest letting kids pick out ingredients and participate in the cooking process. This allows them to express their tastes and preferences.
Promoting healthy eating habits in children has become a major focus, with figures like Michelle Obama and chef Jamie Oliver championing the cause. Childhood obesity has tripled since 1980, making it even more crucial to get kids excited about nutritious foods.
To help kids become more engaged in meal preparation, Delmonico and Goldstein recommend the following activities:
- Let kids participate in making dishes like pesto, such as picking basil leaves and using a food processor.
- Involve them in simple tasks like watering plants, peeling garlic, and shucking corn.
- Encourage kids to help shape meatballs or do other hands-on tasks.
- Give children the freedom to make choices at farmers' markets.
- Allow kids to peel bananas and tear lettuce, even if it's not perfect.
Delmonico also suggests letting children grow their own vegetables. Her own daughter didn't like tomatoes until she started growing cherry tomatoes herself. This hands-on approach can make a big difference in kids' eating habits.