Younger children respond very well to interesting shapes and colours on their plate. A star or heart shaped sandwich will keep them interested enough to maybe even take a bite. Take a tip from Japanese mums who seem to have taken lunch box packing to a whole different level.
As they grow older, you can involve children in the food planning, purchasing, and preparing process. Children aged 6 to 8 years can be involved in a number of the kitchen chores including mashing potatoes, slicing bananas with a blunt knife, pouring liquid, cracking and whisking eggs, wiping unbreakable dishes etc…
Supporting children to be involved with cooking from a young age will decrease fussy eating, and will support then to learn skills including mathematical, language and literacy and social skills.
Children should always be supervised!
5 Tips of making food fun :
- Focus on Colour – use a combination of colours in their daily meals. Red, yellow, green peppers, spinach, corn, carrots are some great ways to add colours to boring meals. Adding foods of every colour in a daily meal will ensure that your child’s body gets the wide variety of nutrients that it needs to grow strong and healthy. And it’s fun.
- Maximize Their Interests -cut whatever you can in a fun shape: carrots can be cut into diamonds, cucumber as a flower or even heart shape sandwiches!
- Involve Them in Food Selection and Prep -involve your child in the daily menu planning, preparation, even food shopping. It will teach them to take responsibility for decisions and also make them want to eat what they have been involved in preparing.
- Serve it Differently- keep the portion sizes small and manageable. Small sized and finger foods are always fun. Mini pizzas, bite sized sandwiches or mini muffins are likely to catch a child’s attention.
- Let them have fun with food – the younger ones will enjoy using cheese as building blocks or broccoli as trees. Involve your child in the cooking process and have fun!
An Open Food Revolution
- 17 concepts to help you to make better choices!
- How can we raise children’s awareness of benefits of fresh food
This book captures the process and results of an open innovation challenge, hosted by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and IDEO. DOWNLOAD THE BOOK