Is there any parent out there who doesn’t have trouble getting their kids to eat healthy? Or getting them to eat everything on their plate?
The little buggers always seem to have their tastebuds geared towards sugar, or if not then selectively whatever you don’t have to hand. And if, like me, you have two of them at home it can be double the frustration as what one likes the other hates. It makes feeding them a nightmare!
Well, while dinner times might still be an onerous chore for their mother and I, I have at least figured out a way to get them to eat their lunch with nary a complaint every single day. No, I haven’t given in and let them have junk food, I have discovered the Power of the Platter!
Yep, no more making sandwiches they only eat half of. No more trying to get fruit down their gobs only for them to whine “I don’t wanna!” By giving them a wide selection of tucker to choose from, making sure it’s all near bite size and letting them pick what they eat first and at their own pace, I find they end up eating most everything! Plus when they get bored of one ingredient, you just swap it out for another with minimal fuss.
Let’s have a look at a platter I made for my son:
And now one for my daughter:
To ensure they are getting all the nutrients their little bodies need I always make sure to put in:
*A couple of types of fruit
(Strawberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Sliced Banana, Sliced Apple, Cubed Watermelon, Glass of Watered-Down Juice)
*At least one kind of nut
(Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Unsalted Peanuts)
*At least one kind of dairy
(Cubed Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Tasty Cheese, Occasional tub of Yoghurt, Glass of Milk)
*At least one kind of meat
(Sliced Ham, Sliced Chicken, Tuna)
*At least one kind of plain cracker (even plain ones are seen as a treat!) and/or piece of non-white bread.
I also find that it pays to put in one (cheap) food that you know they are not really keen on. For my kids that’s sultanas – they don’t hate them but don’t really love them either. By putting that on their plate and then ‘letting them off’ from eating it, it gives them a feeling of ownership in deciding what they do and do not consume from their platters. That sense of control means they eat the rest more eagerly without it seeming like a chore to them.
By following this pattern, and changing up the ingredients used, it’s turned into a very effective way of getting a bit of everything my kids need to eat into their bellies each lunchtime without it becoming a major battle. I hope it works for you too!
Got any other tips on how to get kids to eat healthy? Would love to read them in the comments section below!