Very often, we are coming across ‘’desperate’’ parents that have done everything but they have failed to make their children to follow a Mediterranean-like diet. We have heard millions of stories about children that they don’t eat many food groups or even, we might have been one of them, in the past.
What did they do wrong? Do they need to worry about it? How can parents improve children’s’ diet?
This article will try to answer all parents questions about children’s food
Let’s start from the beginning…
Unfortunately, children do not refuse to eat sweets and foods full of fats and refined carbohydrate but foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes, the core of Mediterranean diet. These food groups are rich in vitamins, metals and minerals, some really necessary compounds for children’s growth. Therefore, it is important to have them on a daily base.
But, as each of us have their own food preferences, children also might show repulsion to specific foods or food groups for a short or long period. This fact should not cause panic to mothers. Instead, they should be patient and creative in order to add these foods on children’s diet.
Pay attention on the following:
- Keep a food diary of your child’s diet. For example, meal time, quantities, preferences, binge eating etc.
- Prepare a nice and calm eating environment.
- Present the meal such as something really special and use ‘’nice and funny’’ words to describe the food.
- Cook together with your children.
- Don’t force-feed your children. They are eating when they are hungry.
Tips to increase children’s fruits, vegetables and legumes consumption:
- Add small pieces of fresh or dried fruits in the children’s breakfast milk or yogurt with cereals.
- Give to children as a snack dried or fresh fruits and vegetable chips or sticks.
- Give your children fresh juice and smoothies if they don’t eat fruits at all.
- Add vegetable in pasta and rice. It’s a clever way to make children eat them.
- Put a bowl of colorful fruits on the kitchen or living room table. At some point children will grip and eat one of them.
- Cook homemade pies with vegetables, eg. Spinach pie, pumpkins pie etc.
- Add legumes in your salads and make burgers with vegetables and legumes.