Merry meal times – Make your little one feel empowered while the remote is still with you. Don’t we all love that thought. Here’s to Ala Carte’ moments @ Home.
What is your favourite dish? Paneer? Dal? Or is it chicken or chinese or the sushi? Or does Thai make your knees go weak? Have you tried the Moroccan or Lebanese cuisine? How many encounters do we need before we fall in love with a new flavour….
Well, it does take a while for us to get used to a new dish or a cuisine. If it is like that for us, imagine what it is like for the little ones. It’s a world of flavours and textures that they taste for the first time. Some kids love to experiment and they lap up a meal much to your delight. But I see many anxious parents flying about like trapeze artists to find ways that work the food into their child’s mouth (Count me in).
Here is one fun way that I enjoyed while trying to trick more enthusiasm into my little one’s meal plans.
A menu card with pictures – Making Ala Carte’ happen at home
1. Select the food groups that you are trying to get your child familiar with – Fruits, Vegetables, Cereals, Finger Foods, Snacks, Breakfast Options etc.(Depends on the age of your child)
2. Collect pictures of these food items – preferably bright and attractive and most importantly recognisable (you can choose from the images on the internet)
3. For added fun with a slightly older child, you can get together and click the pictures of those items (make the child hold up the fruit with a funny face) and make your very own designer menu card.
4. Now arrange them according to meal plans (breakfast,lunch,dinner,snack options) or food groups (Fruits,veggies,cereals)
5. Make a beautiful collage either on a simple picasa editor or you can even cut and paste them on nice sheets of paper.
6. Pin them up like a menu booklet and make it as fun and colourful as you want it to be.
7. You can ask your child to make a choice from the menu for one meal in a day.
8. If its working for you both then you can plan the meals a day ahead too.
9. Not that it works all the time,but I love the glee in the child’s face when he/she gets to make a choice like a grown up in a restaurant.
10. Well what are you waiting for then.
PS: You can also surprise your partner too by adding a dad’s/mom’s page on the menu with his/her fav dishes.