• Use the food pyramid (see below) as a guide to how much you should be feeding your child. Each meal should include the three major food groups — rice and alternatives, meat and alternatives and vegetables. Fruits should be provided after a meal or as a snack in between meals.
• To encourage healthy eating habits, set a good example by eating healthily yourself. Make only healthy snacks available (such as veggie sticks, fresh fruit and nuts), and limit your child’s access to sugary drinks (such as juice and soft drinks) and fatty foods.
• To avoid your child developing a taste for fried food, do not deep-fry as a method of cooking. Use healthier cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, baking, grilling and poaching to cook your child’s food.
• If your child is a picky eater, here’s what you can try:
• Be persistent. Try the same food at another meal but cooked in a different way. Keep trying a few times, but don’t force-feed your child. Sometimes it helps to stop for a few months before trying again.
• Give your child some choice – you can ask “would you prefer the spinach or the broccoli”? Helping your child feel empowered may encourage him to try new things.
• Teach your child to cook. He will find it fun and be more likely to eat his own “creation”.
• Make eating fun. Create colourful and creative bento sets with your child’s favourite cartoon character. http://justbento.com/ is a fantastic collection of bento recipes with many kid-friendly ideas.
• Become a master of disguise. Hide unpopular foods in more popular items – sneak finely chopped veggies into a quiche or pasta sauce, for example.
RECIPE: MINI QUICHES
These delicious quiches are healthy, easy to make and sure to be a hit with even the fussiest eater. This recipe is highly adaptable – you can use any vegetable you want if it’s minced finely enough, and feel free to substitute the ham with other meats such as minced beef, sausage, shredded chicken or even just omit the meat entirely.
Package of frozen short-crust pastry (or you can use filo or puff pastry if you prefer)
One cup of milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated finely
100g ham, cut into tiny strips
100g cooked spinach, chopped finely
1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 375C.
2. Defrost and roll out the pastry to a quarter-inch think. Cut out circles using a 2 inch round cookie cutter.
3. Butter or oil 2 mini-muffin trays.
4. Line each mini-muffin cup with a circle of dough, press gently into the tin. Prick each circle of dough with a fork to let any air escape.
5. Beat the eggs and milk well. Add mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Divide the half the cheese, and all of the spinach and ham evenly among the 24 mini-muffin cups.
7. Pour the egg mixture over into each cup, being careful not to overfill (leave some room for the egg to rise).
8. Top with the remaining cheese.
9. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375C until the crust is golden and the egg has set.
10. Cool and serve.
Recipe makes 24 quiches. Quiches will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze them for future meals.
Other combos you can try include:
• Ham and cheddar cheese
• Italian sausage and broccoli
• Chicken and mushroom
• Spinach and feta cheese