Why you should get youngsters involved in the making of food

Youngsters trying healthy eating options
Youngsters trying healthy eating options
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Summer holidays always fill parents with dread. What can you do to keep children entertained for six weeks?

Well, I have some suggestions that will keep them entertained, educate them on food and encourage them to try foods they may not have had before.

While it was very hot, I found the children I was working with wanted to eat more fruit and vegetables than anything else (except of course ice cream!).

Particular favourites were cucumber, grapes, strawberries and blueberries straight from the fridge.

Getting children involved in the making of food is more likely to encourage them to try new things to eat themselves. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with children how about this home-made frozen yoghurt?

Ingredients

400ml natural yoghurt

4 tbsps double cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsps apple concentrate

100g raspberries

Method

1. Mix the yoghurt, cream, vanilla essence and half the concentrate together, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Blend the raspberries to make a puree, then add the remaining apple concentrate.

3. Remove the yoghurt from the freezer and stir well to break down ice crystals. Return to the freezer for another 30 minutes then remove and stir again. Add the raspberry puree and stir to create a rippled effect before placing back in the freezer for three hours.

You could also try making vegetable smiley faces using foods such as carrots, cucumber, pepper, grapes, olives and tomatoes.

The summer holidays are an ideal time to broaden children’s taste buds, especially if you’re travelling abroad.

However, making it the focus of meal times will cause distress all round.

Create fun activities such as making smiley faces or having a taste testing competition to distract children from what they are eating.

Remember, it can take 10 attempts with a new food for a child to like or dislike it. Once you have created a strategy for introducing new foods, make sure all adults stick to it and always follow through with what you say.

Hannah runs Wise Choice Nutrition, offering one-to-one help, and also runs the Real Food Club on Wednesdays in Crosspool. To learn more, go to www.wisechoicenutrition.co.uk