A lot of companies who claim to be kid-friendly try to offer fun, healthy kids snacks. But for us moms, children and healthy eating is not just a business – we want to make sure that the foods our kids eat are nutritious and delicious, and not just because they are popular.
Usually, the attraction lies in the presentation of the food and not in the food itself, especially if you have a picky kid. My 8-year old is very picky … I doubt if someone can beat her reputation for pickiness. Recently though, she has developed an interest in seeing and eating food – if I present her spaghetti with some garlic bread on the side (just like in restaurants), she would ask for seconds, when before she would just take a couple of bites and ignore it completely. Same food, same taste, different presentation. I wondered if there was something to it.
So I tried it again – this time, I tried giving her food she doesn’t eat – vegetables. I cut up some carrots, celery, broccoli, and some lightly steamed green beans. I saw her hesitate when she saw what I was doing and tried to sneak out of the house. But I saw through her plan, so I asked her to bring out some cottage cheese (a food substance she will not do without). Curious, she asked what it was for. When I said it was for the veggie platter, she totally forgot about going to her friend’s house and spent the afternoon chatting with me, while I came up with refills of vegetables.
Moral lesson: Pique your child’s curiosity. Sometimes you just need a spark for you to be able to keep feeding him or her, your way.
Put together some nuts and pretzels, banana chips and even popcorn. Put it in a resealable bag, and you have a snack for a kid that’s on the go.
Have some plain yoghurt, mix in some pears or bananas for an instant snack. (Remember, yoghurt is calcium enriched – very good for your child’s constantly developing bones.)
Sandwiches are more fun and appealing when they have a different shape. Get some cookie cutters, and cut away. You’d be surprised that they’re eating your homemade chicken sandwich without nary a complaint. A mom-friend says that the sandwich she gives her kid is “assorted” – she cuts it into different pieces, and her child would put it all back together, like a jigsaw puzzle.
Fruit juices should always be served cold or chilled. (This can be partnered with other chewable snacks.) And fruit salads served as is would never appeal to a child (unless he’s been eating them from the time he was weaned). But try putting some cream on it and serve it frozen – your child will never be the same again.
Whether your child is picky or not, it doesn’t hurt to let your imagination run wild when preparing healthy snacks for your kids. Trust me; your kids will love you for it.