Kids are known to be picky eaters, making them eat what is healthy and will help them stay active is a difficult task altogether. Children often develop a natural preference for food they enjoy eating the most. So, the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing. No matter how good your intentions are, it is always going to be difficult for you to convince your child that fruits are as sweet as blueberry cheesecake.
We have a solution to this. How about covering up healthy meals under the wrap of their favourite food? Without making healthy food dull, give junk food a makeover with staples like multi-grain, wheat and ragi accompanied by goodness of vegetables and fruits.
According to Ritika Samaddar, Delhi based nutritionist, “The body requirements of children vary according to different age groups. Young children are attracted to various shapes, sizes and bright colours. Green roti for instance can be roti with goodness of spinach or fried rice with a pinch of turmeric and green vegetables. Another way is batter fried vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes. Also, provide your kids with a lot of probiotics like curd with freshly chopped mangoes or cucumber or sweet lassi.”
Rewrite the menu for your kids. They would still have pizzas but made with a multi-grain base and healthy veggies as toppings. They would still munch on cookies but swap store bought ones to calcium rich ragi cookies. That’s a great way to curb their fast food cravings and keep an eye on their salt and sugar intake.
Another way to get them to eat healthy meals is to work on the presentation. A bowl of soup with a dash of crème poured artistically or chopped fruits like bananas, strawberries, oranges, kiwis presented creatively on a plate with loud and bright colours will pull kids towards fun foods.
Nutritionist Ritika Samaddar suggests, “You should play with colours and make efforts for presentation of the food. Cold and colourful fruits like watermelons are always a hit.
Watermelon cut into triangles with the rind still attached works well in my home.”
“Alternatively, a melon baller can be used to make balls from watermelon and musk melon. This is a great 11 am snack along with some nuts,” says Bangalore based Shalini Manglani.
Here’s a treasure trove of ten healthy recipes that your kids will absolutely fall in love with.
1. Multigrain Pizza
Recipe by Chef Seema Chandra and Chetan Seth
Replace the regular pizza base with a healthy multigrain base. Use a fresh pesto sauce instead of ketchup and use some healthy toppings.