Myth: Healthy eating is boring
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring and bland. There are lots of ways to get more nutritious foods into your child’s diet. We have done a search of the Internet to find some fun techniques and tasty recipes which can get your child more interested in eating healthily and maybe even broaden their culinary horizons!
There’s something out there for everyone but it’s good to try out new things too, you might be surprised at what your child does like.
Fun with fruit!
Fruit can be a great healthy snack at any time of the day, for example bananas are great to eat if you are hungry at night as they are easily digested and can help us to sleep. Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, fibre and a good amount of water all of which are really important to everyones healthy diet. More information about fruit portions can be found on the BBC Fruit and Veg Page.
The following images have been taken from Kidspot.com.
There are a few more fun ideas on the Cooking With Fruit (by Kidspot) page. The main thing to take from the page is that you can make these healthy but boring looking foods look really good if you use your imagination, it might at least get your child to wonder what the brightly coloured thing in the fridge is. You can add chocolate and sweets to fruit to make them taste that bit sweeter or just to entice your child, most of the time they’ll probably just bite the chocolate off and leave the fruit but it’s worth a go!
Similarly to fruit, vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals, fibre and water but they probably cause the most headache when it comes to children and healthy eating. For some reason children are born hating vegetables! It is though, possible to sneak vegetables into their diet though if you have to, for example home made tomato soup – although the clue is in the name – children don’t seem to mind eating vegetables in soup. It’s really easy to make your own soup as the BBC Recipe finder shows.
Curries are brilliant for sneaking some vegetables in and they don’t have to be spicy. A saag curry can be made with lots of chopped spinach and your childs favourite meat, some cherry tomatoes added right at the end add another vegetable and serving with rice, pitta or a naan rather than chips can reduce the amount of fat in the meal.
Baby corn and sliced carrots can add crunch to a thai curry.
Healthy curry recipes can be found by visiting the allrecipes.com website.
Courgettes, chopped carrots, mushrooms and peppers can be added to lasagnas, moussaka and spaghetti bolognaise.
They are well hidden within the thick, coloured sauces and are less likely to be found. You could even use a food processor to chop the vegetables so finely then add to the sauce so that they can’t even be seen, just be careful not to overcook vegetables because they do lose some mineral content.
Protein plays a big part of your child’s healthy eating. It is needed for repair and growth and can provide the body with “10 to 15 per cent of its dietary energy” – BBC Health.
The most obvious protein supply is meat but protein can also be found in nuts, seeds, eggs, fish and even vegetable based foods. Some studies suggest that if you are eating a good amount of protein in your main meals you will feel fuller for longer.
If your child is hungry between meals why not make up a single skewer with some lean ham/steak or chicken sandwiched between a few vegetables. Grilled meat drains a lot of its fat and a skewer will make it feel like a summer BBQ!
Visit the Marks and Spencer Fuller Longer page to read more about protein and the fuller longer effect.