When we think back to childhood many of us have fond memories linked to food. The colourful sweets from festival times, the spicy curries our mothers would make. Food is an integral part of family life and it’s good to emphasise the importance of healthy food for kids as they grow. Luckily there are lots of fun ways to do this. Here’s our guide to how children should play with their food.
Food activities to help children learn about nutrition and health
- Build a vegetable face: Grab a range of different vegetables and ask kids to make themselves a self-portrait. Playing with food in this way gives children a chance to experience the variety in colours and textures of different vegetables, while encouraging them to find those they enjoy.
- Grow your own food: When it comes to healthy eating, there’s nothing better than seeing the whole food cycle up close. If you have the space and the time, let kids get a bit dirty (even if they might need the help of a good laundry detergent like Surf excel Quickwash after) by planting and watering fruit, vegetables, and grains. They’ll be so satisfied when they get to eat what they’ve produced.
- Design your own lunchbox: If it’s a struggle to get children to eat well while at school, why not let them choose some healthy snacks to go into their lunchbox. You could even create a schedule and let them designate different snacks for different days of the week. Giving children some element of control, while making sure they have lots of healthy options to choose from, helps them feel more invested in healthy eating themselves.
What to do about fussy eaters: promoting healthy eating habits for kids
It can be tough if your little one doesn’t really like eating or will only consume a very narrow list of foods. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to deal with a fussy eater:
- Don’t make it a focal point of meal times. If every time you eat ends with an argument, try to de-escalate the situation, avoid raising your voice or making your child’s food habits the centre of attention. When children associate eating with stress fussy eating can get worse.
- Lay out various options. Add different elements to your meal each time and spread them out on the table ‘family style’ so children can try little bits of things without people necessarily watching them or noticing.
- Show how much you’re enjoying your own food. Focus on the pleasure you can get from eating a wide variety of foods rather than the problems of not doing so.
Food is such an important thing for kids, not only is it nourishing to help them grow, it can be fun and enjoyable too. Teach little ones about nutrition for kids and try out different kids eating activities that will help them learn. The benefits of healthy eating in early childhood are vast so get started today with some fun food activities for kids.