It's not always easy to get children to eat their dinner, let alone healthy food, so I think that every little trick is useful and should be passed from parent to child sort of like a precious family heirloom. My parents aren't that way inclined however so my wife and I had to learn the hard way. We've been using all sorts of tricky techniques to get our children to eat healthy food for a while now, and seeing as though we still actually use some of them on the kids, and therefore can't share it with them yet â I thought I'd branch out and fulfill my desire to tell the world.
Healthy Food must be hidden
If your children are anything like mine then they will smell out healthy food a mile away. If there's even a hint of health on the plate they'll eat around it as if even touching it would set off a thermonuclear detonation. I don't blame the parents (as if it's my fault), or the children, I just think we as humans are hardwired to loathe and despise vegetables and fruit and anything that may (or may not) contain even one vitamin or mineral. Therefore the vital part of getting your kids to eat healthy food is to hide it. Basic parenting people. I don't just mean while it's in the cupboard or fridge either â I mean on the plate as well â and I'll get to that later, but first let's discuss the basics of health food storage.
Store your healthy food as if they are the crown jewels
Basic psychology applies â if they don't know it's in the house, they won't even suspect it's on their plate. Healthy food are like weapons of mass destruction ok, the kids know they're around somewhere and it's your job to hide them so well they don't even suspect they exist. Hiding in obvious spaces is good. I knew a guy who used to hide lentils in a fuel canister in the garage. Perfect spot to soften them up before eating too â "What's that son? What's this? Oh I'm soaking some bearings in fuel overnight â don't touch ok" â perfect, worked a treat. I'm guilty of this next one myself, and it still works on one of the kids â the older kids found out at school that I had been pulling the wool over their eyes. It's callous lying if I'm honest â when my kids asked for lollies we gave them grapes. Easy way to get fruit into them at will â "Want some lollies kids?" "Wow thanks Dad you're the best" â Father of the year.
Hide the healthy food in creative meals
No child in the world is likely to lick their lips in anticipation at a nice meal of chick pea stirfry stuffed eggplant and roast capsicum followed by a nice goats cheese dip. And I can't say I blame them. We want our kids to eat healthy but there's no need to be silly about it. Basically what I have don't for years and years is to puree things so that even I can't tell what's in there. My blender is my friend. The kids love the rissoles but wouldn't have a clue that they're joyously eating mostly celery, carrot and zucchini with a bit of meat to complete the deception. It's great stuff. If you're real creative you can do all sorts of things with healthy food in a way that will get your kids to eat it â just think outside the box. Talk to your friends and family, exchange notes and tactics â information is power remember, and that includes with the kids. Let's face it, they think they know it all, so trying to convince them that they need to eat healthy food is fruitless. Pardon the pun.