Health

Easy ways to get kids to eat healthier

Encouraging children to eat healthier is not always easy, especially if you have fussy young eaters. Here are some sneaky food strategies to get them to eat their greens.

Add colours

A colourful dish is bound to be more attractive and appetising to the little ones. So whether it is a pasta dish or a rice bowl, be sure to add lots of bright colours - try tomatoes, green peas and grapes. And remember to present the meal on brightly coloured serveware.

Think bite-size

Children find it hard to eat dishes in large portions, so if you are trying to get them to eat more fish, serving a whole slab of salmon is not as palatable as small salmon patties.

Make it flavourful

Inject more flavour with ingredients such as soy, sesame and herbs to make the dishes more moreish.

Get your kids to prepare their own food

Children are more likely to eat food that they had a hand in preparing. So get them to help with easy prep dishes like sandwiches, salads or open-faced tarts.

Make them look like a snack

It is all about the presentation and packaging. If you serve up a dish in a fun and attractive way, children are more likely to dig in. For instance, pack leftover chicken, vegetables and herbs in a jar, whip up a yogurt dressing then serve it as a fresh, healthy snack.

Make them look like 'adult' food

There is something about adult-looking food that entices the young ones. One example is sushi, these are small and easy to eat, and you can sneak in some greens as well.

Opt for crunchy vegetables

One way to get children to enjoy vegetables is to go for the crunchier greens that have mild flavours or do not have any bitter aftertaste, like cucumbers and xiao bai cai.

Say cheese

Anything with cheese instantly becomes a hit, so if you are trying to get them to eat more veggies, try a cheese broccoli dish.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).

Food & Drink