Choosing to convert to local organic food takes some preparation, especially if you have a family. Changing any eating habits can be tricky. It’s even tricker still when the kids are involved!
We all know different kids respond to meal times differently. And that sometimes, the healthy stuff is the hardest struggle of all.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some great ways to get the kids on board when it comes to local organic food!
Turn local organic food into food art for the table
Kids respond well to play when learning. Even when it’s about learning to eat their vegetables! Making fruit and vegetables playful and creative can do a lot to attract the attention of your child. From fruit kebabs to salad art, making a story with your fruit and veg can really help it seem positive.
Eggs make great eyes. Cucumber and zucchini slices are great caterpillar bodies. Carrots are awesome noses or building materials for scenes on a plate. Lettuce is wonderful as green hair or a shaggy hedge. And all kinds of fruit can be cut to happy mouths, round shapes and more.
Using your imagination helps your children associate meal times with fun. They don’t even need to know the local, organic food aspects until they’ve mastered the art of vegetable and fruit face art!
Get the kids involved in cooking
Kids love inclusion in activities in the home.
Allowing kids to participate in food preparation and cooking can give a sense of wellbeing about food you both wouldn’t expect.
It can help take the mystery out of where food comes from. And encourage them to be curious, to touch the food and to take ownership of their own meals.
This is a great time to introduce the idea of fuel miles and how food is made. By introducing concepts like local organic food and the difference between it and processed items, you can help your child understand food better.
Just make sure any participation is safe and encouraging. It may not be ideal for quick meal times on a busy day, but a lazy Sunday spent in the kitchen can do a lot to improve your kid’s view of food overall.
Love notes in the lunchbox
When switching to healthier lunches, a little bit of a reminder that you care can go a long way. Sneaking a note in to let your child know you love them can help. As can telling stories about their big muscles from eating the fruit or reminding them their sporting idol also eats the same lunch.
Gentle encouragement and kind words at mealtime can do a lot. Making sure your healthy treats end up in tummies instead of returning home uneaten is worth a little literary effort!
Let children play with their food
One of the most surprising things about eating habits is that we feel more connected to food when we eat with our hands. And while we’ve all seen the films where frustrated parents cry “don’t play with your food!” we should be shouting the opposite!
Let fussy kids touch, feel, sniff and lick their food. It's not great table manners, but it helps them grow into better eaters. Encourage them to explore food without penalties and provide incentive and reward instead.
Open the door to trying new foods by giving your kids the opportunity to decline eating the rest if they try it and find they don’t like it.
Taking away the barriers and letting kids interact with food on their own terms helps lower their resistance to trying new foods.
Try growing food at home
Local organic food concepts shouldn’t be restricted to the Lettuce Deliver boxes. One of the great things about selling organic produce is that you’re coming across some great quality vegetables. And that great quality also transfers into growing new veggies from the scraps left over. Growing food with your kids can help you get them excited about the process.
Try sprouting a potato or planting an onion head. Use the top of celery and regrow a new plant from the base. Shallots are simple to grow in either water jug or soil- simply cut off the tops and re-grow from the roots. You can even try growing a new carrot using the carrot tops and a little water.
Show the fun side of veggies by making it an experiment to grow new plants from the old. It helps children make the connection between plant and life.
Pro tip: Keep trying
At Lettuce Deliver, our seasonal boxes give you the opportunity to try an array of fresh and in season produce. This is perfect for experimenting with introducing local organic food to a finicky eater without breaking the bank. We also stock a large selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. So you and your family can enjoy the majority of your favourites all year around.
Doing what you can to encourage your kids to eat healthy is a wonderful thing to do. Just remember to be patient! Swapping out slowly will often get a better result than a dramatic changeover.
But keep trying. Because no matter how stubborn kids can be at meal times, the small victories can add up to big changes in the end!
Want more tips on winning the kids over at dinner time? No matter if it’s local organic food, seasonal produce and more, we’re building a library of tips to help you. And we welcome you sharing your ideas and adventures on our official Lettuce Deliver Organics Facebook page and via the #lettucedeliver tag on Instagram.
Check out the great range of local organic food Lettuce Deliver has on offer and start shopping today!