Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Healthy food can be Fun – Making Healthy Food Appealing to Children

Convincing children to eat healthy food can be a difficult task. Healthy food is not necessarily less tasty than snacks, but many children seem to flinch at the idea of "healthy" because they see it as the opposite of "fun". The packaging of many industrial food products for kids contribute to this impression, often featuring funny cartoons or characters from popular television and film brands. These attractive packages appear friendlier to children than a simple fruit, vegetables or salad.

The solution to this problem is making healthy food attractive and appealing by putting some effort into the design of the kids' meals. Children's birthday cakes are notable for their attractive designs. Similarly, the food that children eat on a daily basis could also be made attractive. The Japanese tradition of sending kids to school with handsomely-designed "Bento" lunches has already made waves throughout the world. Here's a small example:

Such a lunch is, of course, very typical of Japanese diet and taste (especially the use of rice), but the ingredients can easily be replaced by others. The Japanese example is important, however, for another reason: it demonstrates that besides the attractive arrangement of food in the lunch box, another source of appeal could be the variety of tastes. Fruits or vegetables alone may be considered "boring" by kids, but mixed with other ingredients, a different, healthier and richer eating experience could be achieved. The design of kids' daily lunch can also be based on familiar and popular brands, as this example of a "Hello Kitty" lunch shows:

The downside of putting effort into the design of children's meals is that it takes time. This is where another educational element comes in: children should be involved in the process of making their own meals. This way they not only take some of the load of making the meal off their parents, but also acquire the habit of making delicious and healthy meals for themselves. Making kids' food look appealing is not the ultimate goal – it should be a part of the wider context of nutritional education for children.

See also: 7 Ways to Make Healthy Food More Appealing to your Kids

No comments:

Post a Comment