As a child, I had a very negative relationship with food. My mum did try her best but my positive journey with food only began when I was 10 years old and my mother encouraged me to cook meals with her. Here are a few tips that have helped Josh create a positive relationship with food.
Go Shopping with your little one
Get your child to help with the supermarket shopping; ask them to pick the freshest fruit, find which aisle the bread is in, or choose a flavour of yoghurt.
Funnily enough, one of our favourite places to hang out is a supermarket! On a weekly basis, we spend a good couple of hours in there naming the fruit and veggies and picking the ingredients for our healthy toddler meals.
"Funnily enough, one of our favourite places to hang out is a supermarket!"
Encourage your kids to help in the kitchen
Josh has always been around in the kitchen when I’ve been cooking. Now that he is a toddler, he helps me prep food and helps with chores around the kitchen. When he’s at home, I try to get him as involved in his meal prep as possible. This also allows him to try the different healthy foods as they are being prepared.
Prep, cook and enjoy together
Planning family meals with busy schedules can feel impossible; some days it might be. Try to eat together as often as possible, though. Take the time to enjoy each other’s company, try new foods, and even cook together. As an optometrist, my hours tend to be 9-6pm, so by the time I do get home Josh is ready for bath and bedtime. On the days I am with him I tend to eat dinner at 4.30/5pm and I try to have whatever he’s having for dinner.
My Veggie Bubba’s Creamy Red Lentil and Hidden Veggie Sauce is a great way to involve your little ones with meal prep, and we often use this sauce to make homemade pizzas!
"when Josh has a smoothie we create different character smoothies"
Build good food routines and habits
Early childhood habits will often stay with kids into their adult life. We try to include vegetables in every meal. Healthy habits can become a family tradition.
For example, when Josh has a smoothie we create different character smoothies using a mixture of fruit, veggies and vegan-friendly ingredients!
Spiderman Smoothie: Raspberries, Strawberries, cooked beetroot, chia seeds, almond milk and oats.
Hulk Smoothie: Banana, spinach, kale, avocado, frozen mango, peanut butter, almond milk and oats.
Wonder Woman Smoothie: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, chia seeds, almond milk.