Cheese pasta in a box, soup from a can, frozen nuggets!? It’s no wonder shquiblets give some folks a hard time during meal time. You have no idea how many family dinners I’ve sat through where I just wanted to stuff broccoli in my little cousins’ faces and tell them to suck it up! Seriously, it’s good for you AND it tastes great. Also, kids with food on their faces makes me giggle. I have no shquiblets of my own, this is true, but I guarantee that if you follow these 3 steps, they’ll finish at least a third of their meal, or at least try to.
Get them involved in the process.
Kids love to make a mess. It’s a fact. And since you’re no Mr. Clean, the kitchen is the perfect place of attack. Slap an apron on them and have them wash potatoes, hand-crush the San Marzano tomatoes, or knead the dough. Put some music on and make it a good time! This’ll help trick them into thinking chores are “fun,” all the while cutting down on your own.
Teach them about the food.
So, maybe skip the part about how Crumpy the cow used to be alive, and talk about how vegetables are grown on farms. You can go a step further and have them plant their own veggies, like carrots & herbs, in a pot near the kitchen window. They can water them and watch them grow. See, kids like to be involved and the chances of them eating the food they know (and appreciate) is a lot better than if they’re just opening a can of peas. Those things are gross; who can blame them? Then again, that might teach them about recycling…
Tell them that if they don’t eat healthy, they’ll die.
Bey yeah. Parents are too soft on their kids these days. They need to know the truth about an apple a day, keeping the doctor away and if you start early enough, good eating habits will become deeply rooted in their daily routines. Teaching them to stay away from processed foods and ingredients they can’t pronounce will be one of the greatest lessons you teach them. Well, that, and good taste in music.
Tune in to Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen “Parenthood” tonight at 10pm ET on Cooking Channel.