We all know that if kids had their own way, they’d be eating jellybeans for breakfast and ice cream for lunch. But children’s early eating patterns can influence their food choices as they grow up to become teenagers and adults, so it’s important for you as a parent to offer them guidance and encouragement when it comes to nutrition.
Here are four simple tactics you can use to give your children a good nutritional start in life:
1. Start the day right
It’s tempting to feed your kids a rainbow of sugar-coated cereals. But you’ll be doing them a big favour in the long run if you offer them healthier morning choices. In time, and with a little patience on your part, they’ll come round to accepting more wholesome breakfast options. Give oats a trendy revival with honey, nuts or blueberries. Tempt them with soft-boiled eggs and crispy whole wheat toast ‘soldiers’. Or offer a bowl of fresh cubed fruit and NutriDay yoghurt. The trick is to persist – before long they’ll be gobbling down the healthy stuff!
2. Sneak in veggies
Children rarely crave the green stuff, so you’ll need to use your creativity to get them interested, or at the very least ensure that they’re getting some vegetables into their tummies. There are many recipes containing ‘hidden’ veggies you can try out. The idea is not to make veggies the focus. For example, if broccoli frightens them, include the chopped-up, steamed florets in a quiche, or add them to a cheesy sauce. If they’re not keen on carrots, grate them into savoury mince or a cottage pie. They’ll never know the difference.
3. Ease up on the juice
Fruit juice is a great way to give your kids their daily dose, but the sugar content of these drinks is often very high and the acidity can damage their little teeth. Always dilute pure fruit juice with lots of water. This way, they will increase their water intake while still getting their nutrients.
4. Stock your fridge with the good stuff
Kids aren’t often able to resist the lure of unhealthy snacks, so it’s best to banish these from your kitchen and provide them with a wide choice of healthy nibbles. Stock your fridge with easily accessible fruits and vegetables (try cutting them into cubes or ‘sticks’ and storing them in lidded plastic boxes), plus dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt. Our NutriDay yoghurt is a great source of vitamins A, B, D & E, and kids adore the fresh fruity flavours.