I must admit that I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my children eating food and what they eat. They both love food just like their mumma! If anything my children love their veggies more than their meat and I have to be creative when serving meat so they eat it, some tips coming up!

My children generally eat what we are eating and I believe that from an early age you should try to encourage this to lessen the chances of them being fussy eaters. I do however appreciate that some children are just born that way or should I dare say inherit their fussiness from their parents.

Here are a few tips that work with my children in getting them to eat all types of food:

Let Children Help Cook
Get them involved in the cooking process. Yes as mums we don’t always have time for this and yes they do make a huge mess but when you do have the time such as maybe weekends get them to help. I have been doing this from a very early age with Avery and she loves helping to prepare our families meals.
Picking Herbs
Avery and Archie helping me pick rosemary which is growing in our front yard for dinner preparations.

Plant and Grow
I’m definitely not a green thumb but I do with the help of my talented mum have a veggie patch, thanks mum! If you have time, grow some fresh produce, even if it is just herbs. If I can grow herbs anyone can. You don’t need a lot of room to grow herbs and there are lots of different ideas and ways you can grow herbs in limited spaces. My children love helping me plant herbs and the veggies in the veggie patch and watching them grow. They are more likely to eat it if they have helped to produce it!
Purple Carrots 2 Purple Carrots
Purple carrots didn’t do so well after many, many weeks of watching them grow but Avery enjoyed having them as a healthy snack!
Cherry Tomatoes
Both my children love cherry tomatoes, we grew some last summer and they both loved watching the tomatoes turn from green to red and then eating them straight from the plant.
Full Veggie Patch Veggie Patch 9 weeks Veggie Patch 15 weeks
The raised veggie patch we put in one of our garden beds in the backyard and photos of the weeks watching the veggies grow.
These pots were given to me by my mum in law and are a great way to grow herbs with little space, they attach to the edge of a railing.
Veggie Patch and Portable Veggie Patches
Left to the raised veggie patch is a portable veggie patch that can be moved around and another perfect way to grow some herbs or veggies with limited space.

Ok hopefully I haven’t lost you because you are thinking to yourself I don’t have time to get children to help cook or grow veggies and herbs (haha) and so here are my other tips:

Food on Stick
Try putting food on sticks! Children will love the novelty of eating food off a stick. This is one of the ways I get my children to eat meat.
Lamb Skewers
This is a photo of my Lamb Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce, recipe in the Healthy eBook.

Add Sauce
Most children love sauce especially tomato sauce and will eat anything when sauce is added. Tomato sauce bought from your local store however is generally made with refined sugar and large amounts of salt. Try making your own homemade sauces which will result in no preservatives and nothing artificial. The Healthy Mumma Healthy Store has a range of healthy, homemade sauces available with no nasties and no sugar!
7.DSC_5104_Lisa_Tomato Sauce_v4

Leave Out the Chilli
When making meals that call for chilli in recipes, leave it out until the end if possible. If this is not possible, to reduce the heat take the pith and seeds out of the chilli before using.

Add Flavour
My number one factor when cooking is that it MUST have flavour and be delicious! Add loads of flavour to your meals, especially your veggies. Don’t overcook veggies and keep them bright and vibrant in colour. Children love colour and will love their veggies if they have flavour. Simply boiling veggies in water and overcooking them will put children off eating them. I know I wouldn’t want to eat boiled brussel sprouts that have turned from a beautiful vibrant green to a greyish green colour. Pan fry them in coconut oil, spring onions and bacon until they are soft enough but still have a bite and retain their beautiful bright green colour, delicious! The same goes with all veggies, add raw honey to carrots, mint and spring onions to peas, make stir fries with heaps of veggies and flavour it with healthy sauces. The list is endless and there are so many ways you can cook veggies and make them taste yummy. Experiment!
Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts one of the most hated veggies but so underrated and delicious, add flavour and don’t boil them until they are lifeless!
Teriyaki Salmon Stir Fry
This is teriyaki salmon stir fry with loads of veggies. My children love this as it’s full of flavour! Teriyaki Sauce recipe in my Healthy eBook or save time and purchase from the Healthy Store.

Add Colour to Meals
My 4 year old will eat meat if it one has flavour and two is colourful! She loves pink fish – salmon and yellow chicken – my homemade tandoori paste.
Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken with Guilt Free Fried Rice, also known as yellow chicken in our household!

Marinating your choice of meat, poultry, fish or even vegetarian produce can add so much flavour! It is also very quick and easy to do and can be done the night before or morning of for a quick and easy dinner. Adding flavour to meats by marinating is another way I find helpful to get my children to eat meat rather than just grilling or pan frying a piece of chicken or steak.
Marinades 2 Marinades
Above are four marinade recipes in my Healthy eBook including healthy honey and soy, tandoori, ginger chicken and teriyaki.

Simplify Recipes for Children
There are a number of my recipes that can be simplified for children or the ingredients de-constructed and served up differently. By this I mean for example take my version of Salmon Nicoise, picture below. You have to cook or prepare all the ingredients anyway so why not take the bits that you know your children will like and serve it to them before you plate the meal for adults and add the dressing. You may take some of the salmon, egg and sweet potato as an example and serve it to your children. This way you are adapting the meals but not having to make two completely different meals for you and your children.
Salmon Nicoise
Another tip is to buy more of an ingredient that is in your meal that you know your children love. For example take my Mexican Salmon dish, pictured below. This has corn on the cob as an ingredient, so when I cook the corn I cook some extra to give to my children along with some of the salmon. They both love chomping on corn on the cob. I do have to admit that both my children love this meal and eat it as it is but if you know your children wouldn’t eat something like this then a great way is to use the ingredients that will be incorporated into the meal and serve up differently.
Mexican Salmon

Make Extra
Planning your meals for the week ensures you do eat healthy and saves you loads of time, one trip to the shops a week instead of multiple trips. This is another topic for a future blog! You don’t have to miss out on your favourite meals just because you know your children won’t like them. Make extra one night of something that they do like so you can serve again the next night whilst you can still enjoy your favourite meal. For example make extra guilt free fried rice and serve with the meat option you may have for that night. I will often do this if we have something that might be too spicy for my children.

There are lots of recipes in my Healthy eBook that my children love, here are a few:
* Chicken Satay Skewers
* Chicken Schnitzel
* Flathead Tails and John Dory Fillets
* Garlic and Ginger Chicken with Fried Rice
* Gluten Free Hamburgers with Homemade Tomato Sauce
* Honey and Soy Chicken
* Lamb Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce
* Mini Egg Delights
* Pork and Veggie Stir Fry in Butter Lettuce Cups with Soba Noodles
* Salmon Patties
* San Choy Bau
* Sweet Potato and Leek Soup
* Tandoori Chicken
* Turkey Burgers
* Vegetarian Frittata
* Veggie Chips
* Zucchini Soup

Here are the links to some of the items I have mentioned above and how you can either get the recipe or save time and buy from the Healthy Mumma Healthy Store:

Healthy eBook
Healthy Sauces & Pastes

Hopefully I have given other mums some tips and ideas on how to make meals child friendly! I would love to hear about your tips on making meals child friendly. Simply reply in the comments box below.