For me, food is more than sustenance. It's about pleasure, health and making connections to family, the environment and to life itself. Creating a healthier future starts with the youngest generation and Cool Kidz' Mealz is playing a key role in fostering a love for healthy food and eating practices in children. Teaching children about good nutrition creates life-long positive food habits, however when it comes to kids and healthy eating, everyone claims to be an expert. But does choosing the right foods really have to be that tricky? Sometimes getting back to the basics of nutrition can help remind us that simple practicalities and common sense can be our best guide.
For instance, teaching children to understand the joy of eating well and how satisfying it is to actually learn how to make dishes from fresh seasonal food means the food is healthy and delicious. It also gives you the chance to introduce them to a range of fresh healthy foods in a positive way and they're also more likely to try foods that they've helped prepare and cook.
But of course I don't stress health or mention the "health" word even though they are going to eat something that is wonderfully healthy, because that pretty much takes the fun out of it. No child wants to have a finger wagged at them and be told what they must or mustn't do. It isn't necessary to do that to get their interest. All you have to do is engage them in some simple age appropriate activities and say "okay, we're going to roll this pastry, grate some carrots, beat the eggs, crush the garlic cloves, pick the herbs from the garden, we've got spinach, ricotta" and so on.
It's a very important shift of emphasis and what it does is change attitudes and behaviours. The other bonus is of course the one-on-one time shared together in the kitchen is a great place to enjoy each others company, gives you meaningful bonding time and have some yummy fun.