The tactics for teaching your child to eat well are a great way to teach them about good nutrition. These techniques will not only make it easier for children to learn, but they may even help with weight loss efforts too! You don’t have to go out and buy expensive food or cook meals every day; these tips can be used at home!
These tactics work especially well if you use them during the week when your kids aren’t around. If you’re like most parents, you probably spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning up after dinner. You might think that you’d want to do something different with your free time, but sometimes it’s just nice to relax and unwind.
So what are some ways that you can teach your child to eat well?
Here are some ideas:
1. Make Meals Every Day
If you’ve ever tried making homemade meals, then you know that it takes a little extra effort. But if you really want to motivate your child to eat better, then maybe it would be worth the effort. You could make one meal per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (or snack).
For example, let’s say that your kid eats three pieces of fruit each morning and lunchtime. If you were to cut up an apple, some oranges and some grapes each morning, then that would be enough to fill them up. That would be a great way to start the day as it helps them get all of their essential nutrients, such as Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and more.
There are many other fruits and vegetables you could use, too. The options are practically endless and you can almost bet that your kid will start to enjoy them as time goes on. As for lunch, you could cut up some carrots and celery and leave them in a bowl at the front of the refrigerator.
That way, they can grab what they want whenever they’re hungry. In the evenings, you can leave out some cheese and salami for a fun, nutritious after-dinner treat.
The great thing about this tactic is that it doesn’t have to take very long. You can spend 5 or 10 minutes cutting up the food that you need for the day and then you’re done. By prepping in this way, you can make sure that your kids get all of their nutrients when they need to while still enjoying a wide variety of foods.
2. Let Them Cook
If you think that kids don’t have the attention span to follow recipes or cook food, then you haven’t seen them try! Kids are very hands on learners and many of them enjoy cooking. If you think about it, cooking is a very basic life skill that everyone should learn.
By giving your kid a chance to help in the kitchen, you’re teaching them something useful at the same time. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
One easy way to let your child help with cooking is to have them set the table. If you’ve ever tried to set a table, then you probably know that it isn’t too difficult. You just need plates, silverware and napkins for everyone.
If you have some nice placemats and centerpieces, then it will look even nicer. All you have to do is get everything ready and then let your kid place the items where they’re supposed to go. They get a sense of accomplishment while also learning about proper table setting etiquette.
3. Let Them Pick The Meal
If you’re like most parents, then you probably don’t give your kid much say in what you make for dinner. Many parents just pick something at random or resort to the same meals every week.
But if you want to give your kid some control over their diet, then why not let them pick the meal?
This doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, either. You don’t have to ask them what they want; you can simply give them some suggestions and then let them choose what sounds good to them.
For example, you could say, “Would you like to try making tacos or spaghetti for dinner tonight?”
Your kid will probably have an opinion on the matter and you’ll both be happy with the result.
Sometimes, picking the meal is all about making things fun. You don’t have to worry about making them nutritious or filling; you just need to make them fun to eat. Kids enjoy trying new things and they love it when their parents join in on the fun.
By letting them pick a dinner that everyone can enjoy together, you’re showing them that you care.
4. Let Them Prepare The Meal
Once you’ve let your kid pick the food, you can follow up by letting them prepare the meal. This doesn’t mean just hand them a knife and expect them to slice vegetables; you still need to give them step-by-step instructions and maybe even help them along the way. But encouraging them to get involved in the food preparation is a great way to help them get interested in cooking.
If your kid is old enough to prepare a meal, then they are probably also old enough to clean up afterward. But if you’re concerned that this might be too big of a task, you can always give them specific tasks that they can do to help out. Perhaps they can set the table or rinse the vegetables while you cook.
Either way, you’ll be giving them a hands on experience in the kitchen that they are sure to remember.
5. Let Them Eat What They Want
The last step in getting your kid interested in cooking is to let them eat what they want. This is somewhat related to step 3 in that you’re giving them a say in what they eat, but it’s a little different. In step three, you’re letting them choose ONE meal to prepare.
In this step, you’re completely giving into their demands.
Now, this isn’t without limits. You shouldn’t just give in to whatever they want. For example, if they wanted to eat candy every day for every meal, then you probably shouldn’t allow that.
But if they want a balanced diet, then there’s no reason why you can’t let them have some control over what goes into their mouths. And when they’re done eating, they should help with the dishes!
Encouraging Your Kids To Cook
If you want your kid to develop a love for cooking, then you need to encourage them to do it. Giving them some control in the kitchen will make them feel accomplished and appreciated. And when they’re old enough, they can help out around the house by preparing meals or cleaning up after everyone.
Furthermore, giving them some responsibility will make them smarter and more capable of handling themselves in the future. In a few years, they’ll even have friends over and you can teach them how to cook for a crowd! But no matter what you do, make sure that you’re having fun in the process.
It’s important that you and your kid have a good time together in the kitchen. After all, that’s where memories are made.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3
Sources & references used in this article:
You’re Teaching My Child What?: A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Ed and How They Harm Your Child by F Cline, LC Greene – 2007 – Love & Logic Press
Teaching sports concepts and skills: A tactical games approach. by P McKay – 2008 – Penguin UK
Helping your child overcome separation anxiety or school refusal: A step-by-step guide for parents by J Cuthbertson, S Schevill – 1985 – Main Street Books
Cliques: Eight steps to help your child survive the social jungle by S Peele – 2007 – Harmony