Some of you might think that eating a well-balanced diet for adults is considered healthy food for children as well. This is not entirely true. Although there is nothing really wrong with kids eating a nutritious adult meal, kids require a specific nutritional profile to fully address their growth and development needs. It is vital to cook healthy food for children not only to supply their specific nutritional requirements, but also to provide a solid foundation for proper nutrition that lasts well into adulthood.
The Four Food Groups
Back in the day, I grew up in a family where healthy food for children consists of the four major food groups and the food pyramid. My parents educated us on the value of proper nutrition at a very young age. We used to have milk and cereal for breakfast, meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner, and fruits in between and after meals. Junk food was rare and we were asked to eat healthy alternatives instead.
The same is true today. Healthy food for children still follows the same philosophy: grains, dairy, meat, fruits, and vegetables. Kids should never fall into a food rut. It is important to experiment with new flavors each month. Cooking healthy food for children should include a variety of food flavors. As soon as kids can eat hard food, try to mix new food pairings that will entice their palate and appetite. A variation of flavor in healthy food for children can help open their minds to the wonders of healthy eating. This will become an invaluable skill as they grow older.
Be Wary of the Fast Food Habit
Some parents find it hard to cook healthy food for children due to their demanding schedule. The best way to save time is to prepare simple, delicious, and nutritious meals. You can get recipe ideas from books, magazines, and even online. Try meal planning to save time and energy in deciding what to cook for the coming weeks. Try not to reward kids with fast food, and don’t let it be your default meal due to a busy schedule. I’m not suggesting that you should never eat fast food again. The important thing to remember is that fast food can be a tempting excuse not to cook healthy food for children.
Invite Kids in the Kitchen
What better way to entice your kids to eat healthy than to invite them in the kitchen. The next time you’re cooking healthy food for children, ask them to help you wash, stir, or prepare the ingredients. Cooking healthy food for children is a great way to bond with your kids, while teaching them simple cooking techniques, proper nutrition, and food appreciation. There’s a higher chance for kids to eat new foods that are healthy when they are involved in the preparation.