Children develop their eating habits at the family dinner table, which can be scary if you have a young food critic! How can you ensure that your children get the nutrients and energy they need to grow up healthy? Here are some tips and tricks for kid friendly dinners.
Why Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas Flop
1) Forcing children to clean their plates
Children are actually quite good at following their hunger and fullness cues. Parents throw off this natural cycle when they force kids to finish all of their food. Rather than instill the habit of overeating, allow children to listen to their bodies. Portion sizes can also throw kids off their game, so remember to serve an appropriately-sized kid-friendly dinner!
2) Bribing With Dessert
If children grow up thinking that vegetables are icky and sweets are the best, then their conception of healthy eating is going to be distorted. Dessert is to be enjoyed, not used as a reward.
3) Eliminating Sweets
That being said, when parents totally ban sweets, their children crave them all the more. Think of a wet-paint sign – it just begs to be touched! The same principle applies with banishing sweet treats.
4) Age-Appropriate Kid Friendly Dinners
There is a difference between what your 10-year-old and 3-year-old eat. Having portions and foods that are appropriate for your child’s age will make all the difference. Kids with older brothers and sisters tend to consume more unhealthy snacks because their older siblings are able to. Yet, younger kids need age-appropriate nutrition.
5) Unlimited Snacking
While snacks are a healthy part of any eating plan and
Kids’ Dinner Ideas and Solutions
Kid friendly dinners get a boost with these ideas:
1) Include Them in Meal Prep
Let children go grocery shopping with you, help with mixing and stirring, and add spices and seasonings. It educates them and improves self-esteem.
2) Simplicity is Key
Some of the best kids’ dinner ideas involve simple ingredients. You’d be surprised just how far the basics can go!
3) Provide Options and Choices
Healthy meals involve multiple food groups, but your child can decide how much of each to eat.
4) Subtle Introductions
Children are more likely to try new foods if you mix them with their favorites. Keep at it; children may need to try something multiple times to like it!
5) Make Mealtime Family Time
The most successful kids’ dinner ideas are those that include the whole family. Talk to each other, not your technology!
Dinnertime will be easy and enjoyable with these helpful hints!