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It's March Break - and the kids are out of school. What to do? Get creative and make it fun! Here are some tips on getting kids involved in their meals.
Involve the family
Ask family members for meal ideas, and make everyone a part of the food preparation. Kids will be more interested in eating what they've created. It will also teach valuable kitchen skills for the future.
At the grocery store, let your kids choose produce for you. If they're old enough, teach them to wash, peel, cut and cook vegetables. Letting kids become involved in meal preparation gives them a sense of ownership and makes them more likely to eat what they've made.
Pizza night: Get your kids to help make homemade pizza dough and build their own pizza. It's a great way to get all four food groups in one meal. For dessert, top the crust with various fruits.
Self-serve taco bar: Make your own tacos with your family's favourite toppings: cheese, salsa, guacamole, tomatoes, chili, chicken, refried beans, chives.
Fruit salad: Have your child pick a variety of fruits to make their own fruit salad or fruit kebobs.
Cooking party: Staying with the kitchen theme, what about a cooking party? Each child can don a chef's hat and apron. With a few of their friends, your kids can make their own party food. Hand out prizes for dishes with the best presentation and best taste.
World of flavours: Take your kids on a global culinary tour. Get your kids to pick a country, research that region's food and help prepare the meals. Make each night a different world food theme. This allows junior chefs an opportunity to learn and become interested in food from diverse places.
Indoor picnic: How about a family picnic indoors? Deck the floor with summer-inspired tablecloths or blankets. Fill a basket with finger foods: cut-up cheese, fruit and sandwiches.
Make food fun
Hidden veggies: Try mixing vegetable puree with some yogurt or orange juice and freezing them to create frozen treats. Use veggies and fruits in smoothies, or stir vegetable puree into brownies or cookies.
Dipping: Kids like eating food with their fingers so a healthy dip like hummus may make raw vegetables more inviting to them. Try sauces or dressings with low-fat yogurt instead of mayo.
Rainbow game: Ask kids to use their crayons to draw a rainbow and then match any fruit or veggies on their plate to the colours in their artwork.
Food alphabet: Get kids to think of foods that start with each letter of the alphabet and try a taste test. It's a fun way for them to try out new things. How about foods that start with the letter 'Q': quesadilla, quince, quinoa.