Kids are always unpredictable when it comes to food and it becomes even harder to trick them to eat nutritious food. It’s natural for moms to worry about their kids’ nutrient intake, leaving them in a dilemma of what to cook and how to include the essential food groups that their kids also relish.
Have you ever tried making fruits and vegetables interesting for your little ones? It’s easier than you may think. A simple rule is that you must ensure that 60 per cent of the calories that your child consumes must be from carbohydrates, 12-15 per cent from protein and 20-25 per cent from fat — the good kind.
Now, let’s dive into the five effortless ways to give your kids the right kind of nutrition.
Add more of what your kids enjoy: Hunger doubles when someone’s favorite food is served on the plate. So, from next time when you visit the grocery store, do make a list of fruits and vegetables your kids love to have. At the end, this will add little more excitement when your kid sits down to eat.
Schedule a meal plan: It’s necessary to serve a child three wholesome meals, two snacks and lots of fluid throughout the day. Therefore, scheduling a proper meal timetable will also help in boosting their appetite and keeping their energy levels up. Furthermore, when followed properly, results can be seen within a short period of time itself.
Homemade treats: Have you ever thought of preparing homemade treats like pizza? Yes, I just said “pizza”! A pizza that is wholesome and nutritious to have is just what your child will love.
Simply replace few of the ingredients with their healthier versions and you reach a balance of flavours and nutrition. While making the base, choose whole wheat crust over white flour crust. Do add generous amounts of veggies but go easy on the processed cheese.
Serve when they are hungry: The best time to serve food to your child is when they are hungry as they tend to eat what is in front of them without much fuss. So, always avoid giving too many snacks. You’ll realise that they won’t be interested in finishing their meal properly if they snack continuously.
Introduce new healthy recipes: It’s good to keep innovating and introducing new healthy recipes to your child’s menu as it not only changes the taste but also introduces new sources of nutrients for kids.
Colourful presentations and new combinations always seem to be a hit with the kids. Try Zucchini noodles, veggie pizzas, veggie rolls etc. to help them get the right nutrition as well as satisfy their taste buds.
Over to you
This summer, try out interesting recipes and nutritious combinations to feed your kids the right nourishment that’s also high on taste and popularity.
Experiment with different ingredients and the stuff they love while sneakily swapping the unhealthy junk with healthy tasty treats! If they love noodles, they’ll absolutely relish Zoodles or Zucchini noodles.
If they hate beetroot, they’ll love beetroot paranthas or pooris. If they hate veggies, they still won’t mind veggie pizzas or chapati rolls. The key is to find the right balance between flavours, nutrients and recipes.
The writer is the founder and chief dietician, Nmami Life