Children are oftentimes finicky eaters, and satisfying them at mealtime is not always an easy feat to accomplish, so there are various considerations regarding supper ideas for kids that will ensure that they leave the table with a clean plate as well as a nourished body. Presenting meals attractively, engaging the children in the cooking process, and sometimes even masking healthy ingredients are all effective to varying levels according to each individual child, but all are worth trying for the sake of creating balanced meals and healthy bodies. A promising first place to begin is through attractive presentation, or appealing to children through the eyes.
For some children, presentation really can be everything. Arrange plates of food with contrasting colors and textures, and be certain to include a source from each food group. Think outside of the box to make otherwise shunned foods look more appealing. For instance, make a “volcano” of green beans and place several cheddar cheese cubes in the center, or pour peas in the center of mashed potatoes, or stick a large broccoli “tree” or a few asparagus “palms” upright in the potatoes. These are simple tips that make children smile and help them to relax so they will be more likely to eat their meal.
As maturity begins to set in, supper ideas for kids can take a more educational turn. It is wise to let them each have a night of the week in which the main course and dessert are their choice, but they must incorporate at least one healthy side dish into the menu. Give them a breakdown of which vitamins and minerals are in which foods and what they do to benefit the body’s health. Though some will roll their eyeballs at this, there is a fair chance that at least some of the vital nutritional information will stick with them and shape future decisions.
There are times in which some children are very tough to nudge. They know their favorites and are intent upon keeping them close at hand; nonetheless, there is still hope. Many mothers have boasted success by pureeing thoroughly drained vegetables into ground beef and with the help of favorite seasonings forming patties that would never be suspected of their subversive nature. Casseroles do not always provide a successful visual mask, but they are often rich enough in flavor to completely change the taste of challenging ingredients. When all else fails, resort to the old-fashioned “no dessert until the plate is clean” routine, which usually works.
It is the job of parents to incorporate supper ideas for kids that will maintain good health and wellness, and to teach children that meal time is a time that can also be enjoyable and educational. When their eyes are satisfied with presentation, and when their creative faculties have been exercised in meal-planning and preparation, they will be more likely to appreciate the food that is placed before them. Parents, then, can rest assured that they are leading their kids in the right direction along the path of longevity that begins at the dining table.