How to Get Your Kids Involved in Helping to Make Healthy Meals
We all want our kids to eat healthy meals. One great way to do that is to get them involved in actually helping with meals. When kids get the opportunity to participate in the process, they are exposed to new, healthy foods, and are invested in the outcome. That makes them more likely to try the food they helped create!
There are tons of simple ways to help them get involved that will teach your kids all about nutrition and how to choose delicious foods.
Get your child involved in the planning process. This allows your kids to have a say in what they eat and choose foods that they enjoy. You can offer guidance by letting them know what types of foods need to be present at every meal and then letting them choose which proteins, vegetables, or starches they’d like to include.
To make healthy foods more appealing, offer kid-friendly options. Have a vegetable or fruit platter with a variety of dips or a make-your-own sandwich night that focuses on trying new vegetables with familiar foods.
Taking your kids to the grocery store can be a great opportunity for bonding while also teaching important lessons. Your child can handle the grocery list and help you find what you need for making healthy meals. You can also explain the difference between whole and processed foods and why you choose to buy certain products and not others.
Shopping even offers the opportunity for lessons in money and budgeting, if you get your child involved in grocery budgeting. As your child gets older, let them take even more ownership over shopping trips so they will have the skills to do this well as an adult.
Cooking is an important skill for your child to learn. It’s also more likely that your kids will eat a meal they were involved in preparing. Make sure to teach your child kitchen and cooking safety before getting started. Heat and flames can be very dangerous and cause serious burns, so it’s important to teach your children about the dangers of fire and heat in order to avoid injuries.
It is also important to teach kids how to safely use knives so they aren’t careless with sharp utensils. Make sure you have a plan in place to deal with any emergencies that might happen in the kitchen with your children.
Young children can help pour in ingredients and mix, while older kids can help peel, measure, and chop.
Though it is a lot of responsibility, teaching kids to cook early means they have time to practice these skills before being out on their own. Getting your kids involved in healthy meal planning and prepping is a great way to spend time with them. It also helps your kids learn important skills that they’ll carry throughout their entire lives. Want to learn healthy cooking skills for the whole family? Check out our HFN Culinary Academy.