If selling real estate is all about location, location, location, then when making healthy recipes for kids, it’s all about presentation, presentation, presentation. You can talk all you want about all the essential vitamins and minerals and complex carbohydrates, etc, etc that a food contains, but when a child is looking at a mixed bowl of fruit, all they see is ‘yuck’.
The key to getting children to try healthy foods is to present it in a fun and imaginative way. You are the only one who needs to know that what they’re eating is healthy and nutritious. For the kids, it is simply a fun, interesting and imaginative way to eat food. For example, is a child more likely to eat a bowl filled with banana, red grapes, kiwi, star fruit, cantaloupe and strawberry, or a “Happy Snack Face” (bunch of red grapes for hair, kiwi slices for eyes, strawberry for nose, cantaloupe slices for ears, banana for mouth and star fruit for cheeks – all served on a brightly colored round plate).
All you need to do is take the healthy foods you want to introduce and present them so that:
- It has a cool name kids can relate to, like Happy Snack Face. So before your child even sees what it is, they are curious to find out.
- It is colorful – red grapes & strawberry, green kiwi, yellow star fruit & banana, orange cantaloupe.
- It is arranged in a shape or pattern that kids can identify with – Happy Face.
- It has kid friendly textures (in this case juicy fruits, but just as easily made from crisp or crunchy vegetables).
By arranging the foods into patterns that kids can recognize, you also have the opportunity to get them involved in the preparation. After you child devours the Happy Snack Face, you might suggest that for snack tomorrow, he prepare a Scary Snack Face. You cut up the fruits and he can arrange them on the plate. The more involved a child is in the selection and preparation of their meals, the more likely they will eat it, enjoy it, and want to have it again. Not only does this start to get them interested in what they are eating, but it also lays the foundation for healthy eating habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
In order for a healthy recipe to be a hit with kids, it needs to be appealing, so give them what they want. Use recipes that combine imaginative names, bright colors, and kid friendly shapes for a sure fire hit. So like I said before, it’s all about presentation.