With childhood obesity rates more than tripling in the past 30 years, it’s important to take a proactive role in encouraging healthful eating for the entire family when dining out or at home. One way to diversify your child’s palette is to creatively present nutritious dishes and get them involved in the cooking process!
Not only does cooking with your children provide time to spend together as a family, but getting kids involved in making healthful, creative meals encourages them to try new and nutritious foods. A few tips include using crispy vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, ensuring that fruits are ripe and sweet to tempt their taste buds, giving fruits and vegetables fun names to make them more appealing, and presenting dishes in fun, imaginative ways! Encourage your children to build a healthy plate at every meal that includes fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
Restaurants have also gotten more involved in expanding their children’s menus and offering delicious, healthier meals. The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program helps families find healthful kids menu options at restaurants nationwide with over 120 participating brands and more than 33,000 locations across the U.S.
In this video, I talk to Bill Wurtzel, author of Funny Food, about how to get kids involved in making fun and nutritious meals.
How does your family infuse creativity in the kitchen?
Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., is director of nutrition and healthy living at the National Restaurant Association, where she provides thought leadership and subject matter expertise on health and nutrition. She developed the NRA’s award-winning Kids LiveWell program, a healthful-dining program for children.