Tag Archives: how to get your children to eat

This month’s organic superfoods I am adding to the children’s food

#1 Goji berries

You can just throw a handful in stews and soups.  The children won’t even notice it but it adds a good amount of Vitamin C into the broth.  It has been used in Chinese receipes for hundreds of years.

#2 Cauliflower

Usually, I mash 50% of cauliflower with 50% of potato – a great way to disguise the cauliflower.  This can be thrown on top of a shepherds’ pie or just served with oven baked organic salmon or chicken.

#3 Chia Seeds

One of the latest (although Chia seeds have an ancient history) supercharged foods that is beneficial for the body and brain.  It is a great source of magnesium, calcium, phosphrous and many other nutrients.  I throw them into the children’s home made pesto sauce, or sprinkle it onto salads.

#4 Chickpeas

The only way I can get the children to eat chickpeas is to make homemade hummus by blending it with lemon, garlic, tahini and olive oil.  Or if I am brave I blend it into their home made squash or carrot soup.

#5 Coconut oil

Most of my children’s food with the exception of pasta is cooked with coconut oil.  It is a  much healthier option with great health benefits for every part of the body.  My husband even takes a tablespoon of coconut oil as part of his morning ritual every day.

Kids menus | Why are children offered such poor quality meals?

Why children are served bad food?  Protecting the next generation.

I find it odd with every health movie/article/story out there that children friendly arenas and restaurants are still serving children worse food than they would serve to an adult.  On a typical child’s menu there is pizza, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese.  Can anyone tell me a venue that provides children with healthy organic alternatives?  I would visit that place more often.

I think it is fine if a parent chooses to serve their children pizza, chicken nuggets and hula hoops from a tin.  Every parent should be allowed to make that choice.  I just think some children venues should also provide a healthier alternative too.  There are plenty of healthy foods that children can eat that isn’t just about salads and carrot sticks if a little thought is placed into it – there are more and more qualified nutritionists around who can create affordable meals that children might like that don’t cost the earth either.  There are also many catering companies that are serving up healthy meals to your doorstep so maybe the children venues and healthy catering companies should combine forces?

For example:

Shepherd’s pie can be served with organic minced meat, organic vegetables are disguised in it and potatoes mixed with mashed cauliflower.

Spaghetti bolognaise can be cooked all organic mince and minced vegetables and some spelt pasta.

Hamburgers can be organic ones that haven’t been hauled out of the freezer.

Fish cakes with peas or mashed cauliflower

Freshly made fish pie and peas

Tempura prawns with soba and udon noodles

Perhaps your children wouldn’t eat any of the above but I would choose it for my children if it were on the menu and I bet there are a million mothers who would do the same – when I visit the locally produced organic shops I see the demand for better food. There are plenty of mothers shopping the best for their children – that is why more and more organic products and supermarkets are coming to the market.  The DEMAND is out there.  I know some nutritionists would still pick holes with my menu above but isn’t it better than hormone-filled chicken and beef?  I believe in one-step at a time.

At the majority of children’s events I attend, I have noticed other mums removing the hormone-filled chicken nuggets from their children’s paper plates discretely and choosing the ‘better’ alternative of ‘deep fried fish fingers’.  I see parents fighting with their children not to drink the chemically created juice that has about 7 lumps of sugar, colouring and additives added to it and trying to persuade them water is best.  On the way home in the car, parents are yelling at their kids not to open all the sweets in the goody bag.  Yes, I am one of those mums.  There are days when I lack the energy to fight and I will give my children what is available.  I just wish there was more choice for children on menus everywhere in the world.

As parents, if we demand better menus for our kids, then surely we are protecting our children.  Restaurants and other children venues would be forced to provide better options.  I really salute Jamie Oliver who really had tried to help the next generation learn more about health in the UK.  We mustn’t stop.

I close my eyes sometimes.  I know I cannot control it all.  I just wish that people would serve quality food to the next generation.  Is it really such a big ask?  I want to tell these businesses, especially those places that classify themselves as five star, that parents would pay for that premium to ensure that their children eat well.  Perhaps if they know they can make money out of healthy children they will make more effort.

Dubai | Food appreciation for children by Edwina Viel

As the mother of three children,  and with another baby on the way, I had to crack the food code.   Dinner time used to be a really stressful time for my household.  Please don’t get me wrong, there are still foods that my children resist at all cost but it is much better now than before.

I try very hard with organic  and super foods especially when it comes to meat and the dirty dozen group of vegetables so my children face challenges like lentils, quinoa and brown rice.  My 4-year old son now has raw oysters, salmon sashimi and raw carrots as some of his favourite foods.

After my experience with three children, here are some of my simple tips that you can try to broaden your children’s palettes.

1.  Cook with your children.  It helps them understand the process of how foods are prepared and if they have made the effort to prepare it, they are quite proud to eat it.

2.  Stop with the snacking.  Supermarkets often provide many types of healthy snacks but I realised that my children were not the least bit hungry when it got to dinner time.  Since I cut out the snacks at least 2 hours before dinner, I had hungry munchkins who were much more enthusiastic about quinoa.

3.  Talk to your children.  We often under estimate children’s ability to understand healthy and unhealthy foods.  My children are allowed cakes and sweets in moderation. (most people tell me I am stricter than most mums) but I also make sure that my children understand the health impact of their decisions.

4. Introduce new foods to the children.  If they don’t like it at first, don’t give up.  Many foods are an acquired taste even to adults, and if the children try it a couple of times they may just learn to eat them.  The most important thing is to teach children to try.

5. Add spices to the children’s food.  Often, we don’t think of adding cumin, paprika, rosemary and other herbs and spices to our toddler’s diet.  They are superfoods and it makes a bland vegetable mash a little more exciting.

Edwina Viel