(Image Source: Take 5)
Going back to school and getting back into routine after the holiday break can be tough. The sleep ins, late brunches and don’t forget the one too many play dates. To make it easier on everyone, we've identified easy ways to make this a little smoother so you can bring the FUN back to meal time.
1) Get them involved
Get your kids to pick out which veggies they would like next time you go shopping for groceries and get them to help you prep or cook them. This way they get to spend time with you and gain a real appreciation for how the food they’re eating was made. Kebabs are a great interactive and engaging meal for the kids to be involved in. Spend time together making different patterns with veggies and protein and you will be amazed by how beautiful they look. Otherwise get the stirring, mixing, sorting and taste testing things with you. The more involved the kids are in making their own meal, the more likely they will eat it.
2) Think outside the box
With a few minor adjustments, your child can eat what you eat too. For instance if you’re cooking our delicious Butter Chicken and Royal Festival Briyani Rice, all you have to do is add less paste and more coconut milk to make a milder version. Create some texture with some pappadums and add some grated veggies into the sauce. They won’t even know it’s there and you’ll have a winning combination. Add dollops of yoghurt to your curry or create a raita with grated cucumber or apple for a refreshing dip.
Another great option for kids are the Mini Bombay Burgers sliders dolloped with satay sauce or cucumber raita. To dilute the spice in the sauce, mix it together with coconut yoghurt. You can even pop these into their lunchbox for a great nut free lunch with pita bread. Excellent made in advanced and frozen for up to 3 months.
3) Eat a rainbow
Vegetables are super colourful and children love bright vibrant food so use this to your advantage. Switch out a casserole for separate veggie dishes that your child can enjoy with their eyes too. Try using gadgets to spiralise your veggie ‘zoodles’ such as carrots, potatoes, beetroot and zucchini for it to be texturally interesting and fun.
4) Be creative
Simply adding fun and cute touches to a regular meal can make your child way more excited to eat it. Get your kids involved by using food cutters to cut shapes out of veggies or stamp their sandwiches and food. You can buy these from Little Bento World here. You can also try our Tropical Rice served in a Pineapple boat. Serve with raita (fresh cucumber and yoghurt). and voila! your meal instantly goes from a 4 to a 10.
5) Stock up
Incase you’re ever too busy to come up with a delicious nutritious meal for your kids, keep back up freezer meals. One of our favourites is the Jewelled Mung Dahl with plenty of veggies grated in their served with mini naan breads. Make the mung ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months in small containers or even ice cube trays.
6) Greens are COOL
It’s green…so what? One of our favourite characters Shrek is too! Let your children know that they can be as cool and funny as Shrek after eating their greens. You can make ‘Shrek Soup’ using our Green Pea Dahl which is perfect for the winter months. Why not try a ‘Shrek Sphaghetti’ with our Thai Green Curry and spaghetti?
7) The one bite rule
Research reveals that children need at least 8-10 exposures to a rejected food before they change their mind about it. Ask your children to give it a try and have at least one mouthful of the food that they are rejecting.
8) Hide the veggies
If these methods don’t work fast enough, just be patient and keep trying while hiding the veggies in their food in the meantime. Kofta Potato Ricotta Balls are a great way to do just that. Add extra mashed veggies such as sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot and broccoli into these and serve with a tomato sauce or chutney. They are also great in sandwiches and can be flattened as burger patties.
Comment below and let us know your tips and tricks you use on your little ones to get them munching!