Kids are no doubt some of the pickies and moodiest eaters you'll have to feed, so it's quite the challenge for moms whenever it comes to both eating out and cooking for the family. You always want to give something yummy and healthy for the tummy--and both of that as quick and easy as possible. With your busy schedules and the kids needing your full attention, moms might even find it impossible at times!
So for all the frustrated moms of fussy eaters, we've made this handy list especially for you! Keep all these tips and tricks we've rounded up next time you're doing your grocery run and heading to the kitchen to prepare meals for the kids. Soon you'll have kid-approved dishes that are deliciously healthy!
1. Let your kids choose their veggies whenever you're doing the groceries.
It's important to make the little ones involved with food, and not just make them receive the end process of it. Take them with you to the supermarket and make it a habit to tell them what you plan to cook for the week or the next few days. Let them be a part of the meal planning process by allowing them to pick out their favorite veggies and fruits that you must work with. This way, they know in advance what they'll be eating and that power of choice you gave them will lead to no complaints once they open their lunch box and to eat their baon!
2. Turn them into active foodies by letting the kids participate in the kitchen.
Planning to cook a family meal? Then let them stay connected to food to keep their excitement! Let them be your little assistants in the kitchen while you prep and make them watch how the food is cooked, and they become curious and see how much love and care is placed in the meal. When they become participants in the process (from buying ingredients to helping you cook in the kitchen), they recognize their own effort and become extra proud of the dish -- making food more exciting to eat and share on the table. Don't be afraid of a little mess, it won't be a perfect cooking experience (they're kids after all) but it will be fun and a happy bonding time.
3. Make their lunch box meals look good with food styling.
We all eat first with our eyes and then with our mouth, so it's always a good thing if you make your dishes look pretty with pops of color or fun shapes. Get creative! Take inspiration from popular Instagram moms like @bentomonsters, @bento_mommy, and @yumboxlife who share their crafty meals and baon they prepare for their kids. See how you can transform colorful healthy vegetables and fruits into works of edible art -- your kids will surely look forward to what kind of food masterpiece you'll be putting inside their lunchbox next!
4. Find food inspiration by watching cooking shows together.
We have to thank many of the reality cooking shows for making more children curious about what happens from the kitchen to plate! Make it a weekly habit with the entire family to watch entertaining kid-friendly shows focused on food and cooking. This way, your little ones become exposed to other varieties in cuisines and dishes, and become more interested and open to try different takes on food (not just stick to their old favorites or junk food cravings!). You also get inspired with the dishes in every show, while they will get excited about how they can help you out with the groceries and cooking next!
5. Surprise them with a healthy twist and easy-to-cook Pinoy ulam!
We all know that nothing beats a great homecooked Filipino meal, and kids always look forward to this comfort food prepared lovingly by mom. But yes, it can take quite a long time in the kitchen, especially for busy moms who have a thousand other things to do! Luckily, there are tried and tested meal mixes like Mama Sita’s. Easily found in supermarkets, their new Kare-Kareng Gulay Mix variant is made with toasted real peanuts and ground rice that makes for a yummy sauce! It is not only affordable (only P17 for a pack that serves 3-4) but also easy to prepare using your everyday vegetables (sitaw, talong, pechay, kang-kong, etc). Cook kare-kare in no time with Mama Sita's Kare-Kareng Gulay Mix and surprise the kids with this meatless twist to a classic. At the end of the day, it's really simple: when food tastes yummy, kids will surely eat it. The food we enjoy will also taste good to the little ones, too -- even the healthy ones!
Kare-Kareng Gulay Recipe
|1/2 cup||15 ml||COOKING OIL|
|1 pc||100 g||EGGPLANT, sliced diagonally|
|1 tbsp||125 ml||COOKING OIL|
|2 cloves||5 g||GARLIC, crushed|
|1 pc||30 g||RED ONION, sliced|
|12 pcs||100 g||SITAW, cut into 2 inch lengths|
|1/4 cup||50 g||Sliced BANANA HEART|
|1 cup||250 ml||WATER|
|4 pcs||50 g||PECHAY, separate stems from leaves|
|1 pouch||30 g||MAMA SITA’S KARE-KARENG GULAY MIX, dissolved in:|
|1/2 cup||125 ml||WATER|
|to taste||Bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste)|
- In a pan, heat cooking oil and fry eggplant. Set aside.
- In a separate saucepan, heat cooking oil and sauté garlic and onion.
- Add sitaw and banana heart. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Add water then the pechay stems. Bring to a boil.
- Pour the dissolved Mama Sita’s Kare-kareng Gulay Mix. Stir. Boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the pechay leaves. Stir and continue simmering until the sauce thickens.
- Add the fried eggplant. Stir and simmer for 1 minute.
- Serve with rice and bagoong.
6. Make it more than the meal itself and create a memorable dining tradition at home.
Much of the happiness in eating doesn't just come from that homemade Kare-Kare Gulay you just cooked for the kids. It's also about every one in the family you share the food with! Make your meals heartwarming by making every mealtime a bonding experience with the kids. Have a dining table tradition where everyone is present, and family members can take turns setting the table, serving the food, and leading prayers before meals. Not only will everyone in the family enjoy the healthy and kid-approved feast in every spoonful, but you'll also nourish your soul with delicious memories from your dining table.