Kids can be incredibly difficult to feed correctly. If you want your child to eat a normal, healthy diet, you’re going to have to get creative with your meals. Parents around the world have learned the hard way that the most expensive, healthy foods are rarely the most appetizing to kids. Chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese will only take you so far in the parenting world, and you’re going to have to sneak in good foods if you want them to grow up to be big, healthy and strong. Learn about nutritional needs for children with a nutrition course through Udemy.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed a major push to eat better. The food we pour out of cans and into pans every night is loaded with chemical preservatives, dyes and God only knows what else. If you have the ability to avoid feeding your family those things, then do. Those foods will keep your family alive, but their overall health will eventually suffer for it.
What are our alternatives and where does our healthiest food come from? Generally, the best food in America comes straight off the farm or out of back yard gardens. When you live in a small town, it’s fairly easy to get farm fresh foods. City dwellers aren’t so lucky, and have to put more of an effort into locating and traveling to a farmer’s market at an hour when they’re still open for business. It might take extra effort, but putting farm fresh foods on the dinner table is well worth it. You’d be surprised how much better your kids eat and how much healthier you feel after just a few short weeks of eating “real” food.
Take Your Kids on a Field Trip
Outside of every city in America lies lush, beautiful farms brimming with life and vitality. Farms are the heartbeat of our country, and none of us would have the quality of life that we do have if it weren’t for our local farmers. One of the most creative ideas that fun parents have is to let their kids visit a farm and see where their food comes from.
Farmers don’t get a lot of company and are almost always happy to have families come out to their land and learn about what they do. It is strongly suggested to take your kids on a day trip to a farm near your home so that they can learn about how seeds are planted and how the plants grow and produce food. Let the kids get dirty hoeing a row of beans or helping pick strawberries. Learn about how to use fish as natural garden fertilizer from this course through Udemy and impress the farmer you’re visiting.
Farm field trips are amazing opportunities to foster appreciation, build knowledge and earn respect for the hard work it takes to feed a nation. Once your family is back home, let the kids help with prep work to get the food ready to eat. Perhaps you will be able to watch your own children eat asparagus like ravenous beasts after harvesting it out of your own garden together. This might sound like a lot of work, but a one day field trip can help you get healthy foods in your kids for months. It really pays off!
NOTE: There’s a huge difference in nutritional value and flavor between fresh and canned vegetables. Kid have taste buds that are far more sensitive than our own. They can definitely taste the difference. If your kids hate eating vegetables, try taking them to the farmers market where they can walk from stall to stall, smelling the produce, learning how to make the best choices and talking to the farmers about how and where the vegetables were grown. Kids are a lot more receptive to eating foods when they know where they come from and the work that goes into putting that food on the table. A trip to a farm is a great way to foster appreciation and respect for food.
Lowering your blood pressure with diet alone is a lot easier when you eat healthy, farm fresh foods. Learn more about kicking meds and lowering your blood pressure with this nutrition course through Udemy.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Once your kids know what happens on a farm, they’re almost guaranteed to be interested in growing their own vegetables, fruits and herbs. You don’t have to pour a fortune into planting a garden at home, so long as you have a little bit of earth to work with. If not, you will need to purchase potting soil, pots and other gardening paraphernalia.
In most stores you can purchase vegetable gardening seeds, mini-greenhouse starter kits and many different naturally sourced fertilizers. Most seed packets are about $1 and contain enough seeds per packet to grow more than enough fresh vegetables to eat out of the garden daily during harvest time. $10 worth of fertilizer is enough for one year’s worth of gardening in a small to medium sized area. You can avoid using fertilizer when you build your soil up organically. This course through Udemy teaches you how to build soil organically.
Water your garden with your child every day, check on the growth of your plants, pull weeds and harvest your vegetables. Your child won’t realize they’re learning and growing as individuals. They will, however, realize that you are spending quality time with them. The benefits of gardening together go far beyond the dinner table and your wallet.
One of the best parts about gardening at home is that you always have fresh foods, even when money is tight. If you work hard at gardening and find success, not only will you not have to drive to the store and pay premium prices for vegetables, you’ll be eating much healthier fresh produce. Additionally, any extra vegetables you have that you don’t want to freeze or can may be donated to food pantries or shelters or given away to friends, family members and neighbors.
Presentation, and Imagination, is Everything
If we handed a four year old an apple directly after washing and drying it, they would probably take one bite, walk over to the trash and throw it away. Why? Because they are picky and spoiled when it comes to the food they eat. They know the apple could be put into a more easily eaten form and the food wasn’t presented in an eye-catching or fun manner. Many four year olds will only eat apples that are peeled and sliced into eighths the same way McDonalds does it in Happy Meals. If you want a four year old to eat the whole thing, there had better be some sort of dip on the side.
If you’re planning on serving fruits to your child, forget about handing over unpeeled apples, oranges or bananas. It’s not going to happen. Peel, chop, slice, de-seed and arrange fruits on small plates. We realize this is a partial parenting fail and doing so contributes to the further spoiling of our nation’s children, but consider letting children dip their fruits into a caramel dip or cream cheese dip just so you know they will eat them. Learn how to make healthy vegetables appealing to your kids with this cooking course through Udemy. These courses offer up fabulous ideas for parents who want their kids to eat better.
If your child has a hard time getting meat down, try turning sausages into octopi, hot dogs and crescent rolls into mummies, or meat balls look like Angry Birds. Fruits can be sliced and arranged to look like beautiful swans, cartoon characters or even cars and buildings. Be ultra-creative with your presentation and watch how fast the food disappears. It’s pretty impressive when you see it in action! There are probably millions of recipes on the internet on sites like allrecipes.com or pinterest.com that can help inspire your creativity. You don’t have to work too hard, just use a little imagination and try to make meals fun.
Cook With Them
As you have probably learned through experience, getting your kids involved in the process and preparation of meals promotes cooperation, boosts creativity and is a great way to bond. Work with them, let them dig in and praise them highly for their hard work. When you sit down at the table, brag to each other about how good the food is and enjoy talking about your day or planning dinner for tomorrow. Take a course like this one through Udemy and to learn how to make awesome vegetarian dishes with your home grown vegetables.