By now, the benefits of healthy food – and especially a diet low in highly processed food, sugar and salt, and high in fruits and vegetables and minimally processed food – is well established. And, as I’ve written here before, cooking with children is a great way to get them excited about eating healthy food. But cooking together – and eating healthy food together – is also a great way to have a positive interaction with your children. Oftentimes, when we talk to our kids about food, it sounds like “eat your broccoli!” or “you haven’t eaten enough” or “hurry up! Dinner time is almost over” OR “sit still and keep eating!.”
When you engage your children in meal prep, you both give them a positive experience with healthy food and you have a positive interaction with them related to a topic – food – that is oftentimes stressful. Even if they don’t eat what you serve, just getting them involved gives them a positive experience with healthy food and gives them some special time with you, which kids can never have enough of!
First Bites is a non-profit organization that runs programs in preschools and early childcare centers to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables. To learn more about the program and for more ideas on what and how to feed children, visit firstbites.org, Facebook.com/YourFirstBites or follow us on Twitter @FirstBites.