The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].
What are the biggest mistakes parents make when cooking dinner for their children?
Not cooking balanced meals. There should be more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on a plate than anything. We don’t need as much protein as we think.
It doesn’t take that much work, either.
An easy trick: Buy a high-quality blender. You can make homemade sauces and soups in a few minutes.
Get your children used to eating healthy stuff as soon as they are able to eat solid food.
My son used to watch me cook while I would talk to him and play music on the stereo. At every point of the process I would let him try something. Raw bell peppers; I’d give him a small slice. Roast them; give him a small slice. Blend them into a pasta sauce with tomatoes and garlic; give him a spoonful. He would get very excited when I brought the blender out. When he saw me take the pits out of avocados he would go nuts. Guacamole time! Basil jalapeno pesto in a blender was another favorite.
He would get very excited when I brought the blender out.
He’ll be 7 next year, and he still eats almost everything we put in front of him. When he was able to stand on his own, I started putting him on a chair near the sink where I was preparing food so he could see what was going in. This helped him to become more interested in what we were eating. I heard this tip on the radio during a commute one day, and it’s made him really look forward to eating food.
Also, roasting vegetables in the oven with salt, pepper and a little oil is easy, healthy, and surprisingly tasty. Kale and sweet potatoes are my favorites (separately). Little man’s, too.
Kevin Rogers is a writer and a parent. Read more from Quora below: