Ways To Get Kids Eat Healthy by Renell Pacrin
I grew up eating simple meals, mostly vegetables and fish. We are not vegetarians but one of my favorite is my mother’s veggie meat dish. I haven’t had it for a very long time. Our nipa hut was surrounded with various kinds of plants and trees. Hence, we have abundant supply of fruits and vegetables. This is one of the things that I have enjoyed when we relocated to the province from Manila. I am very grateful to our mother for planting vegetables, for feeding us healthy food, and for teaching us not to be picky eater. It became my aspiration to do the same to my own family.
When I have started working, met new friends in the office, the more I have appreciated that I didn’t became choosy with food, except spicy dishes. One of my close friends in the office does not eat vegetables, of any kind, even though she also grew up in the province and have a farm. I have asked her why and she said that her mother doesn’t know how to cook, hence their meal orientation excludes vegetables. I have also learned that there are people, who do not even have dietary or religious restrictions, who are picky eaters even though there are more than enough food available to choose from. Perhaps they have unique, extensive , unusual food preferences.
Ways To Get Kids Eat Healthy
There are many ways to establish good eating habits, you can choose between good food and healthy food. Oftentimes we opt for good food which are much easier to prepare, accessible, flavorful, with very appetizing presentations, tempting aroma, mouthwatering, without realizing its nutritional value. At Mima’s Homey, I am preparing meals with all natural ingredients. As much as possible, I avoid instant food additives and seasoning. The same thing with baking bread and pastries, I am not using artificial food color, flavor, and preservatives.
For a healthier lifestyle, you may want to try these tried and tested ways and introduce them to your children while they are still young.
My daughter is not a fan of carrots, I am. I have introduced and included grated carrots to some of her favorite dishes such as siomai, shanghai, fish patties, spaghetti sauce, and fried spring roll. After some time, she’s no longer segregating carrots while eating sopas, chopsuey, and menudo. And she includes carrots as one of the major ingredients of her amazingly delicious rolled maki.
Make Vegetable Tempura
In one of our family’s out of the country vacation, we have discovered and brought home ingredients for homemade ginger milk tea and bitter gourd tempura. They became part of our meal. To my surprise, my daughter loved cooking bitter gourd tempura for her snacks and can consume half a kilo by herself. We also tried eggplant tempura when I was given an assignment in the office to prepare a recipe booklet of egg plant-based dishes. These days, some caterers’ menu includes different kinds of vegetable tempura. Cooking them at home will make you enjoy its crispness and encourage your children to eat vegetables.
Prepare Meals with Your Children
Involving in and teaching your children some house chores is beneficial in so many ways. Cooking and preparing meals excites them, improves their appetite, and makes them more skillful. It also promotes quality time with siblings and parents. When your children grew up and knows how to cook, it will be a big relief because you don’t have to worry if you won’t be able to cook for them.
Food art garnishing makes dishes more appetizing. You do not have to be a professional chef to try garnishing and innovate meals for your family. You can do research and sometimes be creative. For children, there are artistic and very eye-catching bento meals you can try. Just like my daughter who asked me to cook homemade onigiri. I have made different kinds, filled with chicken, pork, beef, longganisa, and fish. I have also made sweet potato munchkins as an alternative healthy snacks. Whatever ingredients available in your kitchen, in local market, you can innovate and substitute traditional meals so that you can enrich your cycle menu.
Some people, like me, really loves to eat and there times that cravings are so irresistible. Others have comfort food which serves as their stress reliever. I remember when I was young, my mother used to listen to a radio program which have a tag line “Ang ating pagkain ay ang ating gamot, ang ating gamot ay ang ating pagkain” . Perhaps this program became her guide for a healthy living. Whatever lifestyle you have, a balanced diet of healthy food is a must to keep in mind.Renell Pacrin, Mima’s Homey
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About the Author:
Renell A. Dela Cruz – Pacrin is a development worker (support staff) for seventeen years who loves to cook and bake. She earned a degree in Secretarial Administration and passed the NC II (National Certificate) in Bread and Pastry Production. During her free time, she bakes cookies, cakes, and pastries, mostly for her lovely daughter’s packed snacks, family occasions, and sometimes made to order. Currently self-employed, she focuses more on her spouse’ van rental business, home duties, exploring handicrafts, and taking care of the homey.