Every parent knows the struggle of convincing their little ones to eat more nutritious foods. Luckily, by encouraging your kids to get involved in the kitchen, you’re helping them build a solid foundation for healthier food choices. Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner offers five expert tips to get kids involved in making healthy family meals:
1. Let the kids pick the recipe
Flip through a healthy cookbook and see which recipes the kids are interested in making. This is a good way to get kids involved in selecting healthier recipes or new food flavors, and because they helped choose, they will be more invested in trying these foods when you cook them.
2. Take family trips to the grocery store
Head to the store and select nutritious ingredients for recipes, meals and snacks. You can even let the kids help craft the grocery list and search for ingredients while you shop. To introduce new foods, set a goal to select one new food to try at each visit and head home to have a fun tasting.
3. Make their favorite foods with better-for-you ingredients
Eating well doesn’t mean giving up favorite foods, just make them with better-for-you ingredients. Keep kids’ favorites like pizza, burgers, fries, tacos, muffins and pancakes on the menu, but just choose healthier ingredients. For example, choose Eggland’s Best eggs with better taste, freshness and nutrition compared to ordinary eggs. EB eggs contain 25% less saturated fat, 10 times more vitamin E, six times more vitamin D and double the vitamin B12, which transforms food into energy that kids need to play and grow.
4. Cook as a family
Kids adore helping in the kitchen, so have them wash their hands and pull up a chair when it’s time to cook. Older kids can help with tasks like rinsing vegetables, chopping foods, measuring ingredients and cracking eggs. Younger children love to help mix, stir and do other simple tasks like using a pastry brush to spread oil.
5. Make it fun
Put on some music when you cook and enjoy the quality time together. Make your meals special by lighting candles or using nice glasses. Create your own original recipe and come up with a fun name for it.