This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.
My 5 top tips for helping Children Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food
1. Provide a wide range of foods from birth and continue to try and re-try foods that they have previously dismissed
Like us, there are some tastes and textures that will not appeal to children. Or, they'll love it one minute and hate it the next. This is just a part of life but if you continue to provide and offer a wide range of different tastes, textures and styles of food, it is likely your child will become more accustomed to trying new things and giving foods another go. And, if they don't like it, don't push it. Praise them for giving it a go and then try again another time. We have found over time and depending on how things are prepared (and how they look!), our children start to enjoy ingredients that they previously dismissed. A great dish to experiment with different vegetables, meats and flavours is the stirfry.
2. Make healthy food fun and don't ban "junk foods"
When it comes to children and food and eating, I have always had the attitude with my kids that we eat a wide range of foods and I try to encourage that by making good, healthy food fun. Sometimes how something is presented makes a huge difference! We know ourselves that the more appealing something looks, the more we often want to try it. I also don't believe in making certain foods "off limits" so we just try to approach it simply as "sometimes foods" and "everyday foods."
Young children have small stomachs and need to eat smaller amounts more often to distribute their energy needs over the day. One way that we use to encourage independence in this area, as well as teaching children to listen to their bodies and eat for the right reasons, is with our snack box method.
4. Involve children in the process of food, from the ground to our mouths. Gardening and doing the grocery shopping together is a good place to start.
One of the main ways that I've tried to encourage a healthy relationship with food is by involving my children in all the aspects, from the choosing and buying of the food to the preparation and eating of it. Where we can, we also look further into where it has come from and how it is grown. There is just so much to learn!
I find that giving children some ownership over what they are eating and involving them in the processes is useful in encouraging children to give different foods a try. Being part of the cooking also gives them the knowledge that the same foods can taste completely different depending on how it's prepared. Not to mention all the maths, science, fine motor and language skills they are acquiring along the way
Chinese Five Spice & Soy Beef Noodle Stirfry Recipe
One of our favourite mid-week meals is the good old stir fry. The thing we love about making stirfrys is that they're quick, easy, fresh and healthy, making them an "everyday" type of food. And, without too much effort, you can mix it up and change them by altering a few ingredients here and there to ensure you have new and different tastes and combinations to try all the time.
The new range of Maggi Stirfry Creations makes it even easier to get a quick, delicious stirfry out and on the table in no time at all. With a range of five products, including Chinese Five Spice and Soy; Honey, Soy & Garlic; Teriyaki & Sesame; Garlic & Ginger Chicken and Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass Chicken, there is sure to be a flavour combination that the whole family will enjoy.
We tried out some of the range and have shared our popular Chinese Five Spice & Soy Beef and Vegetable Noodles recipe below. I'm not sure about your kids but mine LOVE noodles and they happily woofed this dish down. Take your kids shopping for the ingredients and get them to choose and name the different vegetables that you will use.
· 500g rump steak
· 1 pk of Maggi Stirfry Creations Chinese Five Spice and Soy Beef
· 1 carrot
· 1 small onion
· 1 small red capsicum
· Handful of snowpeas
· 1 tbs vegetable oil
· 1 pk of Fresh Chow Mein noodles 350g
Thinly slice your steak. Tear apart your Stir fry Creations and in a medium bowl, add the Infusion Paste to the meat to marinade. Set aside for 2-5 minutes.
While the meat is infusing, prepare your vegetables by cutting into evenly sized pieces
Heat your wok over high heat and prepare the noodles according to the directions. Add the oil to your hot pan and stir fry your meat until browned. Add all the vegetables and stir fry for a further few minutes.
Giveaway for Australian Readers
Edit: 5/8/13 This Giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Oscar Poulton.
You will be sent your Maggi Prize Pack shortly.
Apologies to our international readers but this giveaway is only available to Australian Residents
Thanks to Maggi and Nuffnang, one lucky Aussie, Learn with Play at Home reader will win:
4 Maggi Stir Fry Creations
1 x Scanpan Impact Wok with lid
1 x $100 Coles Myer Gift Card
To enter, simply leave us a comment below telling us Which Maggi Stir Fry Creations flavour would be your family's favourite?
Before entering, please read the terms and conditions.
Good luck and happy cooking,
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