Before we actually take a bite of food we start eating…with our eyes! They tell our brain what it will taste like via a whole series of learned and natural responses and we taste what we think we should. A study in the late 1970’s showed that, when we find food more appealing, not only do we enjoy it more we also absorb more nutrients from it. As parents we can take that information and use it to make healthy food look more appealing and interesting. The best part is that it only takes a little extra time and effort to present our kids with healthy food that looks fun to eat. I’m not suggesting you need to be an artist although there are some amazing artists that turn food into master pieces. All you need is a little creativity, some kitchen tools or just few extra minutes.
It’s actually a lot easier that it might seem. Use cute dishes, muffin tins, ice trays, bento lunchboxes and mini cookie cutters to create visually appealing lunches and snacks. Listen, the marketing that goes into junk food doesn’t happen by chance so why not do a little marketing yourself to promote the healthy foods your kids should be eating!
As a quick example have a look at this simple snack I put together the other day. You could just toss some veggies on a plate for your child or you could spend literally an extra minute arranging them in a cute dish. My daughter Hannah loved it! Which one would you be drawn to?
Since we eat with our eyes we are also very drawn to color so use this to your advantage and serve your kids at least two colors in their meals and snack. If you can get five colors of the food rainbow into a snack or meal even better!
Using things like muffin tins or ice trays turns snack time into a fun treat while offering a wide selection of healthy food for your child to nibble on.
The extra effort you put in to presenting food in a visually appealing way will be worth it and you might just win over a picky eater and find them munching on a veggie or two.
Do you use creativity when feeding your kids? Share your favorite suggestion!