We always hear of children who sit at the table adamant that they will not eat green beans or broccoli, but there are some kids out there who love their veggies and just aren’t fans of meat. This can be frustrating when you’ve spent time coming up with and preparing healthy, balanced meals for your child only to find that they won’t eat them because there’s too much chicken on the plate. Rather than accept defeat as your kid eats around your perfectly cooked pork chop, here are some of my recommendations to get kids to eat a well-balanced meal.
Try Other Proteins
My first (and perhaps most obvious) suggestion is to feed them other foods that are high in protein instead. Meatless Mondays have become an extremely popular trend in the last handful of years due to health and environmental factors, and vegetarians are expected to grow to 25% of the nation’s population in the next 25 years, so with this increase there have come many more kid-friendly recipes out there that don’t contain meat. Some great sources of meat-free protein are beans, eggs, Greek yoghurt, cheese, and cereal but there are many more options out there as well. Consider going meatless on occasion and your picky child will thank you.
Make Meat Tastier
Sometimes you just don’t have time to make a meat-free dish, and having to think about everybody’s dietary restrictions during every meal can be a bit too overwhelming. So how can you make meat tastier for your child? Kids love foods like spaghetti and pizza, but rather than make obviously meat-heavy versions such as carbonara or pepperoni pizza, try bolognese made with lamb or beef instead, and shred some chicken as the pizza topping rather than adding big pieces of spicy pepperoni. Basically, make the food tastier for your kid by having the meat take the back seat in your dishes.
Get Them Involved
My last tip, and one that works for any type of food, is to get them involved in the cooking of food. This won’t just make them more likely to eat the meal they worked hard to make, but knowing how to cook is also an important and fun skill to learn, so why not get them started early? That’s not to say you should get them honing their knife skills or learning how to flambé, but having them make the breading for chicken nuggets or the marinade for shrimp skewers will get them excited to eat their creations. Here are some tasty recipes your kids can help you cook, or if they’re a bit older, you could even sit back and let them take the culinary reigns. You never know, you could have a miniature Lorraine Pascale or Gordon Ramsay on your hands!
Those were my suggestions for encouraging your children to eat their protein and get back to a healthy diet. I hope that they help you manage the difficulty of picky eaters and get you back on track making meals the whole family will enjoy!