How to teach children to eat healthy food and not be capricious at the table: secrets of good parents

Yulia PoteriankoFood
Developing good eating habits is sometimes no easier than coming up with a cool commercial

Anyone who has ever tried to feed a child vegetables knows that this is a task of the highest level of difficulty. Even adults would rather choose pasta with cheese, chocolate cake, or French fries than a plate of steamed broccoli.

However, parenting experts say that a child can be taught to eat healthy and not be capricious at the table if you are creative. Try, like a skillful marketer, to "advertise" good food to your child. The Takeout magazine told us how to do this by asking its readers about their experience. One of the ways is sure to work, even with the biggest fussbugs.

Add a vibe of your favorite character to the dish

Anything will do – cartoons, TV shows, video games. Popeye the Sailor is a prime example of this approach. For decades, this character has been forcing children to eat spinach in the hope that they will become as strong. What about carrots? This is the favorite dish of the reindeer Sven from Frozen! The henchmen love bananas. And Remy the mouse not only loves ratatouille but is also a great cook. If you can't think of anyone who might have inspired your child to eat tofu and stewed vegetables, just cut everything into cubes and say that they are blocks from Minecraft. The child may think of the rest.

Use food to tell a story

The world is about to be overrun by scary dinosaurs and the only way to save it is to eat their eggs as soon as possible. What a good way to turn a breakfast with ordinary chicken eggs into an exciting adventure. Psychologists say that a well-told story helps to survive even the most difficult times and rethink the most difficult situation. A talent for storytelling will help you with getting your child to eat right.

Do not correct your children's perceptions

One mother told us how her children once fell in love with eating miso soup on their own, thinking that the tofu floating in it was actually marshmallows. She didn't bother to convince them that what they were eating was not "marshmallow soup" but something more commonplace. The kids got a dish with their favorite treat, and mom got another good item on their menu.

Add a game element

Let food not only nourish but also entertain. For example, an ordinary cucumber salad can be checked for crunchiness, giving it a score each time, and thus setting records. The main thing is to focus on the quality of the food and not let children compete in the amount of food they eat – this can have bad consequences. However, come up with other table activities for your whimsical children.

Make food unattractive

While some mothers try their best and make colorful dishes and shaped displays, others let their children believe that boiled onions are worms. They also convince their older siblings that they will be amazed if they see that the younger child has the courage to eat them. And remember how much fun children have on Halloween, imagining that they are eating all kinds of disgusting things and drinking blood instead of tomato juice. Why not let them have a little bit of this fun every day?

Disguise food with a fancy name

A creamy soup made from such banal ingredients as potatoes and onions is called an incomprehensible and very beautiful word "vichyssoise". What do you think children will eat more quickly – onion soup or this incomprehensible word? Be creative, translate common names into other languages, and try recipes with fancy names (you can choose those that are simpler and made from healthy products). Let the food be mysterious.

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