Does feeding your kid send you into a frenzy? The reality is that while meal times are a valued part of the familial fabric, they can be more battle than bonding.
“When you make something fun it adds a motivational element to whatever you’re trying to help your child accomplish,” says Shoshana Brodman, an expert occupational therapist. She explains that when it comes to food, the same rule applies. “Sometimes parents need to adapt the environment to fit their child’s needs—not what they are serving but how they are serving it. This can mean serving smaller portions at a time, or being creative with how you present things.”
Here are three fun food ideas to help you reach the end result you were hoping for—happy bellies filled with nutritious food and relaxed family bonding.
Kids love playing pretend, and parents love watching their kids eat super-healthy food—here’s the winning solution without any fuss. Mom’s Chicken makes cute animal-shaped chicken nuggets. The nuggets are made from 100 percent chicken breast, so they are nutritious as well as fun.
To make dinnertime into an adventure, prepare a grain like rice, pasta or whole-grain couscous. Steam broccoli florets and set aside. Heat a package of Mom’s Chicken’s animal-shaped nuggets.
Once these three items are prepared, create a world on a plate using the grain as the earth, broccoli as trees and nuggets as the animals. You can use condiments like mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup to draw a sun and sunset.
- Veggies Are All the Buzzzzz
Get your bug out from under the rug with these cute bug bites. Instead of using poor-quality processed cheese, up the nutrition factor and try Tnuva’s Deli Cut Sliced Cheeses. They’re pre-sliced for convenience and made from high-quality dairy ingredients.
Wrap a cucumber in a slice of cheese and place it crease down in the middle of the plate. Using a toothpick, make two indents on the top of the cucumber for the bug’s antenna and 8-10 indents along the sides for its legs. Using very thinly sliced carrot sticks, slide one small carrot stick into each of the indentations.
- Veggie Boats
Let the daily veggie battle sail away with these veggie boats.
Halve and seed a bunch of bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Now, fill the hollowed-out vegetables with tuna salad, egg salad or chicken salad. Bend a slice of Tnuva Deli Cut Cheese and then thread onto a wooden skewer to make a sail for your boat. For added effect, you can serve on a blue plate above a swirling wave of spaghetti.
There will come a day when your children will grow up, and perhaps even prepare you a plate of animal-shaped pancakes for breakfast in bed, but until that time comes, make the most out of mealtimes by creating a fun and relaxed environment for them—and everyone else at the table.
By Catherine Green