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Raising Healthy Children

cooking togetherPart of the Healthy Mummy mind set is about creating a healthy lifestyle change for not only you as the Mummy but for your whole family.

Often Mums ask us about how they can help their children adopt healthy eating habits as well, that their child is a fussy eater or will not eat certain foods.

There are a few pieces of advice that our team of health professionals give which are fairly simple.

Eat as a family.

It is important for your children to see you eating as a family. That the parents eat the same meal as the children and that the children see you eat new foods, including of course the ones they don’t like, like vegetables.

Research time and time again shows that monkey see, monkey do. Eat your veggies Mum, as you have been found to be the biggest motivator for the children to try them too.

The more you interact around the table and create a relaxed environment, the greater the chance the children will enjoy this time and have a positive experience with food and eating.

Cook together.

Cooking is a fabulous way to teach your child the basic skills of survival through nutrition and health. It also opens a world of conversations around where food comes from, how fish breathe in water, and why people in Brazil eat black beans and rice.

Around 12-18 months is a good time to start introducing cooking utensils to your child. This age group can fetch the produce from the bottom shelves of the fridge or cupboard; they can rip herb leaves off for you; they can help organise pasta shells one by one out of the container; they can stir and they mix things together. A lovely, messy time of exploration and joy.

Around 2-3years you can introduce kids scissors and kids knives for them to start chopping ingredients for you. The best way for them cut something (and for all of us really) is to lie the flat edge of the food on the board to have more control over the food. If the food is round like a zucchini, cut it in half and lie the flat edge down on the board.

Around 4 years you can probably start supervising your child around heated areas and they can stir the food on heat.

Cooking is the gateway to the knowledge of food and nutrition.

Repetition.

If you child does not like something, that does not mean you give up. They may not like the food at that particular meal for quite a few different reasons. The same goes for when you are introducing solids to your baby.

Kids and babies may not like something because they are full, they are grumpy, they are tired, they don’t like the texture, they don’t like the plate or the spoon, they just want to say no…and many more unexplainable ones. Try the same food the next day and see what happens. And repeat, and repeat and repeat.

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mandy-dos-santos
written by:

Amanda Dos Santos

Mandy is an experienced Nutritionist, food scientist and writer with over 10 years experience in the Heath industry. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative and current blog posts and contributing to our recipe books. She has played an integral part in creating the recipes on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges since they first started in July 2014.Mandy is a mum of three and loves working for The Healthy Mummy, ”Especially on the challenges as I can create recipes which empower women to create nourishing food for themselves and their families’."