Involving the kids in eating healthy!
Are you finding feeding your family a massive chore?
You are not alone!!!! So many of us finding it such a challenge to get the balance between providing healthy meals, having time to prep and brain-energy know what to make, and the constant grumble of ‘MORE SNACKS PLEEEEEASSSE!’
Here I share some of my top tips – and know that this comes from a place of ZERO JUDGEMENT! I am in no way a perfect mother when it comes to (anything!) a perfect mealtime – but this stuff helps me…
I make lots of meals that are whole family friendly and planning is the key – but some of us (meeee!) don’t like to stick to day-by-day plan, so I like to have a stack of meals that we enjoy written down by the fridge, I add to this when I find new recipes – and I can choose from this list and do my food shop based on the list – it doesn’t need to be rigid.
I also encourage families to ditch the quest for perfection – we’re all going to have some days when we have to face what’s left in the cupboards before shopping day, or grab the beige freezer food because we’re a bit rushed or we’re just a bit ‘meh’ – get over the mum-guilt!
My top tips:
- Get kids involved in meal prep – they really do invest mentally in the meal when they’ve been involved in its creation (this can be slower, messy and is age dependent, so choose your times wisely!)
- You’re prepping dinner, and you get the groans of ‘I’m HUNGRY!!’ – so frustrating! So give them small plant based snacks so that they already get some of their nutrition, it takes them a while to eat (more chewing) and you’re not stressing about them finishing their meal (give them some of what you’re prepping, just serve a smaller meal if they’ve snacked) – their tummies are small so sometimes they just can’t manage the whole plateful at once – Try carrot and pepper sticks, hummus, nuts, oat crackers, fruit like tomatoes, avocado or raspberries – all of this is packed with fibre and nutrition – so even if they fill up a bit on that, it’s OK!
- Veg waste – make crisps with veg peelings adding a touch of olive oil and salt on a baking tray, perfect starter for hungry little ones!
- Sometimes children like things separate on their plate so that they can try each thing on its own, and find their favourite bits easily – we’ve got those amazing separator plates and it has transformed dinner time!
- Encourage them to see the benefit of certain foods – we always say, ‘show me your muscles – ooh you need to eat that broccoli to make them bigger and stronger’, ‘ooh those carrots will help you see in the dark in bed tonight’ (kinda like that Green Giant Sweetcorn advert!)
- Always save leftovers for your own lunches the next day – less lunch stress!
- Make simple snacks – get some silicone lolly moulds, and put some berries, or mint from the garden with a tiny splash of juice and fill with water
- Try out kid friendly meals like chicken or fish coated in rice crispies – they’re are way easier than you think and the children love helping with the dipping.