We all want the best for our kids and we all know what an important role a healthy, well balanced diet plays in the day to day running of a happy household – but what can you do when the little darlings just. won’t. eat?!
We’ve all been there and there’s no denying that it’s a tough mission to make that delicious piece of nutrient packed broccoli look more appealing than a cartoon coloured cupcake, but don’t worry – where there’s will, there’s a way. Here at Quince, we’re nothing short of passionate about getting fantastic food into your kid’s precious little bodies, fuelling their energy packed lives in all the right ways, so we have put together 5 top tips on how to make the switch from ‘no way mum’ to ‘yum!’.
1. Make it fun!
Nothing works better at getting children on board with an idea than having fun with it and there are so many ways you can do this with food. Try having a day where you all try new foods – even mum and dad! Go shopping together and (if you’re feeling adventurous) let the little ones pick out what you have to try. There are so many weird and wonderful fruit and veg you could pick up to make it really exciting – Dragon Fruit and Lychee always go down a treat and it doesn’t have to only be about the 5 a day. Quails eggs are also an easy starting point or even vegetable crisps! This is all about adjusting to trying new things and the more we get our kids used to that, the better.
2. Grow your own!
Kids LOVE being involved in the whole process of food – finding out where it comes from, how it grows and then later, how it is prepared. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden or access to an allotment, fantastic! If not, that’s not a problem – there are so many great ways to grow your own with minimal space, in bags on a terrace or planters on a window sill – you can even grow mushrooms under the bed or in a cupboard! I’ve never known a little munchkin who doesn’t like to don the gardening gear and get a bit messy, so kit up and get out there!
3. Get cooking!
Leading on from our last point, whether you’ve grown it yourself or not, get little miss or master fussypants to give you a helping hand in the kitchen. Plan the meal together, deciding all the scrumptious ingredients that you can involve. You could even create a theme, or have a weekly dinner date trying a new world cuisine and dress up accordingly! Make it a real event, from the shopping right the way through to serving.
4. Learn about your food
Contrary to how school sometimes left us feeling, human beings are built to learn and the more knowledge we can indulge in, on subjects that we can enjoy, the better! Children are the most inquisitive little creatures on the planet, so help them get educated on what goes onto their dinner plate. Visit an organic, free range farm – this is a great way to introduce the idea of how things work and where food comes from, as well as being a fun day out! You could even bring home some bits and pieces picked out from the farm shop to try at home. Alternatively, you can always find fun facts online about every day, humdrum groceries which suddenly introduces a new lease of life to the contents of your fridge. Did you know that the aubergine is related to the banana or that carrots DO actually help improve vision? Go exploring...
5. If all else fails...bake!
Alright, so you’ve tried it all and nothing is working, so we’ll compromise. Instead of giving in to the sugary delights of the confectionary aisle, get your bakers hat on and make your own – but better! You would be amazed at the delicious treats you can knock up in next to no time, using super healthy ingredients and little to no sugar. Chocolate brownies never fail to please and these can easily be made using dark chocolate, avocados, honey and even beetroot! This may not sound like much, but trust me, they are SO good you’ll never want the naughty alternative again. Give it a go – you’ll be pleasantly surprised and so will your little ones (if you ever let them in on the secret ingredients, that is!)