The best way for kids to learn is to be taught by their parents. Many are visual learners and enjoy “hands on” activities. Why not make cooking healthy a fun and educational experience for the entire family?
Teaching your kids to eat healthy by cooking healthy
It’s true that most of the habits that we carry through life are learned in the home. This includes a healthy respect for food and how it treats the body. If you want your kids to enjoy a lifetime of healthy eating, start working with them now.
Children are blank slates. Many of us don’t introduce certain foods into the family diet because we don’t like them ourselves. Step outside of your comfort zone and try those foods again. Also, venture out and find new foods to sample with your kids.
Healthy Cooking Tips
Here are some ways that you can get your kids interested in helping out in the kitchen.
Set up a stool in your kitchen – When you are cooking invite your kids to watch. Explain what you are doing and the types of foods you are using. Let them participate as your taste tester. This is one way to get them to sample new foods.
Hold cooking lessons – When they are old enough, let them cut up vegetables and other ingredients for dinner. They can use kitchen scissors instead of a knife. Introduce them to the healthier cooking techniques: steaming, sautéing with healthy oils, baking, roasting and broiling. Teach them how to make fun foods like healthy snacks, breakfast meals, lunch sandwiches and eventually dinner.
Hold a family cooking night at least once a week – Plan a night when the family cooks together. Let the kids help plan the menu. If you have pizza for instance, offer several healthy additions for toppings. Each person can make their own personal pan pizza to eat and share.
Eat meals together – A family that eats together does a lot of other things together like stay healthy. When healthy choices are offered at the outset, kids are more likely to choose them for themselves. And, you can be sure of what ingredients are in your food when you eat at home.
Control portion sizes – It is easy to get involved with mindless eating. Use smaller plates (eight inches) for your meals so there is less to fill. And, don’t encourage eating in front of the television or the computer.
Introduce new foods – If you have a picky eater, adding a new food in with foods they already like can increase their repertoire of nutritious foods. There are enough healthy foods out there that if they do come across some they don’t like, don’t worry about it.
Eating healthy begins at home. Take every opportunity to help your kids cultivate a positive attitude towards food.