Is your child a picky eater? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most of our children are extremely picky about what they eat. So how do we break this cycle? How do we get them interested in different types of foods?
A good way to do this is to involve them in the cooking process, from making a list, to grocery shopping and then preparations and cooking. Here we have some ideas that will make cooking with kids an enriching experience for you and your children. So let’s get started!
Following are some tips for making cooking fun yet safe for children:
- Planning always helps: Always decide on the weekly meal plan as a family over the weekend when everyone has an opportunity to propose their favourite recipes. Children relate better to meals they have chosen themselves. And if they helped with its preparation, they will definitely not leave it on the plate
- Create a safe place to cook: Set up a work area at a lower height to make easier for preschoolers to reach to things. Offer a stool if you feel it’s safe to balance upon by your kid. Remove sharp objects from their reach. Always keep pan and utensil handles turned towards the back of the stove
- Cook interesting kid friendly recipes: Kids often try unfamiliar foods including vegetable and fruits when they transform them into personal creations like a funny face pizza or a sandwich. Get them to do some healthy rolls like besan chilla roll with paneer filling or kathi roll with different vegetable filling. Sometimes it helps for the children to help you prepare vegetable in the form of a puree, creamy soup or make fruit/vegetable salads with interesting dressings of mayonnaise, yoghurt, etc .Pastas and sandwiches with different shapes and faces made from dips, squeezes, and sauces are another interesting idea
- Get creative: When the children help prepare broccoli and cauliflower, say they are making green and white trees. Include colourful foods of their choice and help them experiment a little with them. Let them exercise their creative talents by naming all their creations, like, Nina’s naughty nemo sandwich
- It’s more fun if you are not hungry: Try to feed the kid with a quick snack or veggies, fruits with dips before you start cooking
- Clean up as a part of routine: Try to inculcate good habits like cleaning and make the fun time a learning time as well
- Don't Force It: Engage the kids only as much as they want to be. Pastas can be fun for a minute, but after five tries, it might get a bit dull for the little ones. Let them feel the joy. Let them eat it and enjoy it
Above all, remember that the kitchen can be a happy place for learning. You and your kids together should make being in the kitchen a fun and enjoyable experience, any other benefits are just a bonus!