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Helping your children to eat better

So far my posts have been all about recipes (and mostly cakes … I can’t help it, they’re so yummy!), so I have taken the opportunity to share a brilliant guest post from Heather.  She has 8 tips to help your children eat better which sound really helpful, so I think they will be of use to other mums and dads too.

Why is it once our kids hit the 2’s they never want to eat the things you offer them? Sure as they get older their habits improve and they are willing to try more, but generally why does the sight of healthy, nutritious meals or even meat send them running?

It’s a strange phenomenon, but if you’ve got a picky eater in the family then you’ll be all too familiar withwhat I’m talking about.

Yet feeding your child well doesn’t have to feel impossible. Try any of the following tips and you’ll notice an improvement in their eating habits:

1.  Make the same for everyone – don’t get into the habit of making them something different. Instead try to offer them the same foods you’re eating – family style – so they can pick and choose what they want. You’ll soon notice that your child is mimicking what you eat.
2.  Introduce new foods slowly – whilst you want to broaden their tastes, too much too soon will make them rebel. Start subtly by adding it to a recipe and once they are familiar with it, give it to them on their own. Similarly don’t try to give them too many new foods at once. Allow them to get used to a taste, and then introduce another.
3.  Use a little hero worship – you’ll be surprised what they’ll eat if you tell them their favourite star or character eats them.
4.  Hold your tongue – hard I know, but don’t pressurise them to eat their fruit or vegetables as all this will do is make them have negative associations with the food.
5.  Take advantage of dips – if they won’t eat vegetables on their own, offer them a dip to dip it in to improve the flavour.
6.  Be creative – the more creative the meal, the more excited your kids will be to eat it. Giving healthy foods silly names as well, will make meal times more interesting.
7.  Don’t be afraid to give treats – less healthy food shouldn’t be treated like a forbidden food otherwise your kids will want them more. Instead make them a treat to be looked forward to.
8.  Be a role model – most of us are on a diet these days but this doesn’t always set good habits for our kids. Instead of following the latest fad, offer you and your whole family healthy balanced meals so you’re sending your kids the right message about food. 

Whether your child is refusing to eat meat or refuses to eat anything healthy, it is possible to broaden your kid’s taste buds and help them to take a better approach to food.

Simply give the above tips a try, and remember to be patient.

Thank you for reading, My name is Heather and I write about Food and Kids and how to bring the two together. I also look to make life easier by getting my meat from an online butcher and buying just about everything else online!

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Growing our own (so we can eat our own)

It was such a sunny day today that I couldn’t resist getting outside and planting vegetable seeds with my daughter.  

I wish I had the skill, time, inclination, space and weather to grow all the vegetables we eat ourselves, but I’ll just have to make do with growing a few of our favourites.  

I’ve still got courgette, tomato and lettuce seeds from a couple of years’ ago so we’ve started off with those to see if they germinate.  I also want to get basil, cucumber and pepper seeds to give them a go too.  I think we might be a bit late for potatoes – but I really love growing them as it’s so satisfying when you harvest them 🙂

We haven’t got a very large garden so I am planning on growing the veggies in pots rather than in the ground.  I’m hoping this might deter the slugs too!

So here is propagator number one ready to go into the cold frame.  

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I find it amazing that a tray of seeds in soil will (hopefully) turn into loads of tomato, courgette and lettuce plants!

As you can imagine, a 22 month old only has a short attention span so she soon got fed up and we played with boxes instead … can you spot her?!

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I’ll let you know how the vegetables (although I just realised that tomatoes are officially a fruit!) come along.

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