In our latest episode of The Work Wives Podcast, Anna spoke with Sarah about how dinner hacks are setting her soul on fire right now. Anything to save time and frustration, amiright??
Getting kids to eat healthy can be a real challenge for parents. Often, kids can be picky eaters and may turn their noses up at foods that are good for them. This can be soul destroying for parents who want their children to have a well-balanced diet and still actually love them. But fear not!! There are some dinner hacks that can help make mealtime more enjoyable and encourage kids to try new foods, such as those shared by The Curious Carrot, a business run by Work Wives Liz and Em, a Paediatric Dietician and a mum to a neurodivergent fussy eater. In the podcast, Anna and Sarah both shared what works for them hack-wise:
Dinner Hack #1: Involve kids in meal planning and preparation
One way to get kids excited about mealtime is to involve them in meal planning and preparation. Kids love to feel like they’re contributing and being helpful, so allowing them to help plan meals and cook can make them more interested in trying new foods. For example, you can let your kids choose a recipe they want to try, and then help them gather the ingredients and prepare the meal together.
Anna gets her son to pack his bento lunchbox by choosing which foods he wants to go where, or she’ll even lay lunch choices out for him to pick his own and pack.
Dinner Hack #2: Make healthy food fun and appealing
Another way to encourage healthy eating habits for kids is to make healthy food fun and appealing. You can do this by presenting healthy foods in a creative and exciting way. For example, you can do what Sarah’s been acing for years and create a “Party Platter” with a variety of colourful vegetables cut into fun shapes and throwing some protein on there like chicken strips or nugs. Or perhaps you can serve fruit salad in a colourful bowl. By making healthy foods visually appealing, kids are more likely to want to try them.
Sarah and Anna both agree that tacos are ftw, and a hack that works wonders for both of them is to make all foods Taco Food. What sorcery is this, you ask? Well, Anna’s son loves tacos so much that she can serve him whatever she’s made for dinner that night, in a soft taco, and he’ll happily eat it. Beef Stroganoff Tacos, anyone?
Dinner Hack #3: Sneak in nutritious ingredients
Sometimes, kids are reluctant to eat healthy foods because they don’t like the taste or texture. In these cases, you can sneak in nutritious ingredients into their meals without them even realizing it. Be a sneaky b**** and puree vegetables and add them to sauces or soups, or add grated carrots to muffins or pancakes. This way, your kids are getting the nutrients they need without even realizing it. Be careful with this one though – we reckon it’s better to get kids liking veggies rather than hiding them for sake of ease.
Dinner Hack #4: Serve a variety of healthy options
Kids can be picky eaters, but if you serve a variety of healthy options, they’re more likely to find something they like. Instead of just serving one type of vegetable, try serving a variety of veggies cooked in different ways. You can also serve a variety of proteins, such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans, so that your kids can choose what they want to eat. This is a hack that the girls from The Curious Carrot highly recommend.
Dinner Hack #5: Use creative presentation to make meals more exciting
We get it – we’re time poor enough. But this one can work a treat if you have a few minutes to spare when plating up!! You can totally use creative presentation to make meals more exciting for kids. For example, you can make a pizza with a cauliflower crust and let your kids choose their own toppings. You can also make a “build-your-own-taco” bar with a variety of toppings, or create a fun and colourful salad with a variety of veggies and fruits. That’s if it’s not Beef Stroganoff Taco Tuesday, of course.
In the Work Wives Podcast episode this week, we have so many more tips and tricks that have worked for our kiddos. Have a listen and take something away that might help you win friends and influence people at mealtime!! Think smoothies, nourish bowls, and healthy inspiration with a side of fun. Encouraging healthy eating habits for kids can be a challenge, but with a little creativity and planning, it can be done. Do you have a hack we haven’t heard of? We want to know about it!! Please, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE TELL US. Jump onto the latest post on our Instagram Page and tell us all about it. Happy eating!!