Creative Kids in the Kitchen

kid cookingJust as with exercise, the key to success with healthy eating is to get the entire family involved. Kids get excited about learning new things if they feel a sense of ownership or engagement, so make them part of the process. Not only will including the kids make healthy cooking and eating more fun for them, but for you too. Try a few of these ideas:

  1. Use brightly colored foods to make healthy veggie dishes and fruit salads. Not only are these foods high in antioxidants and phytonutrients for good health, but the colorful array makes them more appealing to everyone, especially kids. Let the kids help choose the items that go in the dish to create their own little recipes.
  2. Set aside a time each week to have a “family food day” where you learn about a new healthy food and make a new recipe that includes that new item (check out some of our healthy recipes to get started).
  3. Combine art and food with an activity that involves having the entire family make a piece of art on their plate using healthy foods. Kids can make “food landscapes” with cauliflowers for clouds, broccoli for trees, small potatoes for rocks (and then eat it all up!)
  4. Swap system - create a series of drawers or shelves in the kitchen for kids to swap out items for meals. If they decide they don't want to eat a particular food that day, instead of allowing them to reach for the fries, use the system so they have the option to substitute a food for another comparable one (ie carrots for broccoli, pear for an apple, homemade chicken nugget for turkey lunch-meat).

Make the food tasty and the process of cooking fun for the entire family, and soon healthy food will be part of your daily habits.

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