Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

My kids always complain about the food I cook. How can I get them interested in family meals?

Children can easily become bored and disinterested with the foods that you serve especially if you tend to select the same foods often. When they aren’t engaged in the process, they don’t always appreciate the effort it takes to come up with meals every night that everyone will enjoy.

You can get kids energized about foods and cooking. Their enjoyment will carry over into what foods and how much they eat. When they are involved in the cooking process and learn more about the foods on their plate, they pick healthier foods and tend to eat more.

You can help them by bringing them into the kitchen. You can let them take over some of the meal preparations including washing vegetables, chopping (if age appropriate), stirring, setting the table, rolling out dough, putting biscuits on the baking pan or measuring out the necessary ingredients. If they can read, let them read the recipe and gather together all the ingredients.

There are also cooking classes that your kids can join. These are especially fun because often times they are led by real cooks or chefs, they may use unique foods, and get to share with kids their own age. They can have fun and learn new skills with their peers.

It has been shown that early involvement with cooking and food experiences will lead to lifelong healthy eating habits.

Since most families are pressed for time, eating out for meals instead of preparing meals together at home often leads to increased caloric intake and childhood obesity. If we nurture and develop a love of healthy food and cooking skills, our kids will want to eat what we have at home and will be healthier because of it.

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