Like adults, children also eat through their eyes (figuratively, of course). When the food dishes are not too appetizing, we do not usually have much desire to eat them. And, of course, we are going to enjoy them much less. Decorating children's food plates is an art, that can help our children eat everything, and do it with more desire. However, how can we decorate the food to make it attractive to children?
There is nothing like a beautiful table and an attractive and rich plate of food to whet anyone's appetite. Will we thus get the children to eat everything? Decorating the dishes in a more colorful way we could get them to taste food otherwise they refuse to eat.
And these are some of the keys that could help us:
1. Take imagination
Imagination to the power! If you want the dish you present to your children to be really fun, create a whole universe with each preparation. True, it takes a lot of will and patience, but with creativity the dishes can be turned into broccoli forests, a family of mice with cheese balls and chives whiskers, a spaceship surrounded by pineapple stars ... Anything! thing is possible!
A sausage can be turned into an octopus if you cut one end like the legs, a carrot can be a car with potato wheels, some cherry tomatoes cut in half into balloons with green bean strings ...
What comes to you?
2. Let the children decorate the plate
Encourage the children to decorate the plate with you. In this way, you will be stimulating their creativity and you will make the food more attractive to them, because they have prepared it themselves! It is not about touching the food but about letting them experiment with it.
3. Present the food in different ways
Another good way for children to see food in a more attractive way is to present it to them in different shapes or textures. Children may not like cooked potatoes, but what if we give them cream? Or pureed? Or microwave? It is about children trying different textures and discovering the ones they like the most. This can also help children who prefer to eat everything mashed up.
4. Hide some food
The trick of some parents to get children to eat foods they do not like, is to hide it among the rest of the food. For example, mashing the fish and hiding it inside a cooked potato. However, this strategy is not always a good idea, since children are not aware of what they are eating and, therefore, we do not instill in them the need to eat everything.
In the end, what we try with the decoration of the dishes is that they are more attractive for children and, therefore, that they eat everything. However, this is not the only way to promote healthy eating among children. There are other tools that, in fact, tend to be more effective, when it comes to getting our little ones to taste and eat what we put on their plate.
- Set an example
If you don't eat vegetables, you can't expect your child to eat them with gusto; if every time there is fish for dinner we are all in a worse mood, the children will not enjoy the food. Setting an example at the table (and, actually, in any other situation as well) is essential.
- Get used to them since they are little
It is never too early to teach children to eat well. And, healthy habits have no age, so it is important to transmit them as soon as possible so that they are internalized (by both children and adults) in a positive way.
- Do not alter the palate of children
Do kids really need to add sugar to yogurt? Why do they have to have a muffin in the middle of the morning when they can eat a piece of fruit? It all consists of accustoming your palate to the different flavors that come from healthy eating.
- Have fruits and vegetables in sight
Sometimes, details as simple as placing a fruit bowl on the table (in view of the children) that always has fruits and vegetables in season, will make children see them as everyday products, every day. Another option is to always have cut fruit (be careful with its conservation) in the fridge. When we are hungry, being prepared and ready to eat will be a great snack for the whole family.
- Let the children come shopping with us
Involving children in the process of buying food helps them feel more willing to try everything. While we shop we can explain why we choose some foods and discard the ultra-processed ones. Cooking and eating as a family are great ideas too.
- Do not force children to eat
Unless there is a health problem and, therefore, the doctor has urged us to do so under the circumstance, we should not force children to eat. When we force them to finish the plate, we are fostering a bad relationship with food. Also, there is a possibility that we are forcing them to eat more than they need.
Tell us what you do so that your children eat everything!
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