According to the CDC
The child obesity prevalence rate stands at 19 percent in the United States.
Unhealthy foods and refined foods contribute to almost 80 percent of the cases.
In the same report, there is a worrying rise in lifestyle-related illnesses common among obese people, especially the children.
The findings attribute it to a high Body Mass Index (BMI) among children. With these scary findings, what is the future of our children when it comes to health?
Moms play a vital role in what the family eats daily. Right from childhood, they should advocate for healthy eating- more so homemade meals.
Unhealthy meals to avoid at home
- Refined foods( crisps, and high-fat snacks)
- Fast foods ( chips, and deep-fried foods)
- Soft drinks (diet soda)
- Highly processed pastries
- Chocolates and energy bars
Modernity and fast-moving lifestyle limits cooking time.
As a career woman, you must plan yourself such that you have time to prepare healthy meals for your children.
Engaging them while explaining the nutritive value is crucial. You need the family support system to achieve this objective.
We must admit, it’s tough to get children to love and appreciate healthy meals. The external influences, especially in school, derail your effort on this.
That’s why education and empowerment is the first step to get them to love it. Besides, you need to include colored fruits and vegetables to add the visual effect to the meals.
7 Exciting Ways to Engage the Children in Making Homemade Healthy Snacks
The age of the children determines the skill to use to support the kitchen. Preschoolers have a short concentration span; therefore, simple healthy snacks come in handy.
On the other hand, teens work with moods and need tact to get them to help out in the kitchen.
The trick here is to allow them to decide on what to make. Your role is to give guidance, unlike when dealing with preschoolers, whereby the opposite works.
How do you get them to prepare the meals?
1. Let them choose a recipe and prepare it together
You can’t make a meal alone and force the children to consume it. They won’t have a sense of belonging.
The rule here is to engage them in the process of developing a liking for the meal. Invest in healthy recipes and let them choose the desired dish.
Ensure you have all the ingredients to accompany them to the grocery store and let them pick it. Now, prepare the meal together.
2. Make the cooking time be home cooking classes
As you get to assemble kitchen tools, the spices, and ingredients.
In the process, talk to them about them, the uses, their nutritive value, and the function of the kitchen appliance.
Let them relate to what they learn in school. Be tactful here; allow them also to express what they know before you unleash the knowledge.
When grilling using a charcoal grill, explain why you have to place the meat over hot charcoal.
In short, describe the process. Let them understand the need to have controlled cooking temperature in the pellet smokers too.
Allow them to ask questions on other grills available- when they get challenges – in the market and why you chose the specific one for home use.
3. Involve everyone by assigning tasks
Let the exercise be a total family member’s involvement. Assign jobs according to age just for them to feel part of the cooking process.
The preschoolers can assemble the appliances to the worktop. The middle-aged kids can help in washing fruits and vegetables.
The teens and take part cut the onions, involve in mixing. As you serve the meal in the dining table, everyone wants to taste as a show of appreciation for their effort.
4. Invest in kids kitchen utensils
While away from the kitchen, purchase some cooking utensil toys and let them cook their kids’ meals.
It impacts a sense of the need to have home-cooked meals. It sticks in their minds. They will practice it even when they grow old.
5. Engage them in grocery shopping
Kids love going out for ice cream, hot dogs, and have some fries. Use this chance to have them choose a fruit or a vegetable.
Once they choose a recipe, let them pick all the ingredients needed to have the delicious dish.
Before you notice, they forget the unhealthy snacks. Everyone wants to go back home and try the recipe.
Is that not an excellent way to make them consume healthy meals of choice? The advantage of it is that you don’t have to force your way.
6. Download cooking games and let them play
Away from the kitchen, have some cooking apps that make them get involved in cooking through games.
It impacts the knowledge on the importance of consuming homemade meals as opposed to going out to have lunch or dinner.
They might be the people to tell you that they want to make a meal to carry for the park date.
Haven’t you succeeded as a mother in your quest to have them love homemade healthy meals?
7. Visit agricultural farms and let them learn a few nutrition ideas
As if these ideas aren’t enough. Take a trip to agricultural farms.
Allow them to ask questions, let them know the source of the foods they buy at the grocery store.
It’s the knowledge that sticks in their mind to adulthood.
If you have had the challenge of getting your children to love healthy meals instead of snacks and fast foods, you have ideas on the best ways to go through this.
Practice them within no time. You’ll have a successful story to share with other moms struggling with the same.