My child doesn't eat anything!
While doctors will vouch for the fact that as long as children are happy and healthy, the quantity of food they intake should not matter, mums (read Bangladeshi mothers) are never truly satisfied unless they see for themselves the eye-rewarding sight of children devouring down the entire carte du jour offered.
Some children, however, are malnourished and it is important that they are provided with enough nutrients to ensure healthy growth, even if it means a little persuasion. Even if that is the case, some things should be kept in mind.
First of all, we must ensure children regain their lost interest in food. We should begin by asking ourselves an important question: do we let our children watch TV, play on the iPad or any sort of electronic gadget while they are eating? If the answer is in the affirmative, then it must be stopped immediately. Interest in food only grows when children pay attention to what they are eating.
The next question that we should be asking ourselves is that do we make meal time fun or not. If you have never thought of that, maybe it is time to do so.
To make meal time fun and something to look forward to, mothers must all take part in the process like setting the table, getting dinner plates ready and, most important of, all sitting down all together and dining as a family. This will ensure that the child understands the concept of a 'meal time' and an added lesson on family rituals.
Due to our hectic lifestyle and tight work schedules, it might not be possible to have all three daily meals together, but the sincerest of efforts should go towards ensuring this. There should be no comprises to having at least one meal together as a family. The age old proverb 'families who dine together, stay together' did not evolve out of nothing!
For the third point, a good way to create more family time is by making a simple rule: all eating has to be done at the dining table! This way, everyone ends up seeing more of each other , just under a strict house law placed by the parents.
And lastly, we also need to make food interesting for everyone, and not just children. Food decor is important to make even the most mundane dish interesting. So just a little touch in garnishing food served on the table will go miles in ensuring that the whole family enjoys a nutritious meal.
MARSHMALLOWS AND FRUITS BONANZA
Purchase an assortment of fruits, especially colourful ones like kiwis, apples, strawberries – and wash and slice into small pieces for easy holding. Get one packet of your child's favourite marshmallows, take out one piece, and heat it over a stove. You can also use cheese instead of marshmallows. The cheese can be sliced in many attractive shapes - stars, circles, fish etc. The cheese need not be heated.
Take each piece of the worked-up marshmallow or cheese and one slice from your selection of fruits and alternatively put them on a stick, one by one.
Sweet potato fries
A rare child will say no to potato fries, so a good idea is to use that weakness to put into them some Vitamins A, B6, C and Folic acid.
Cut some sweet potatoes like you would for French fries. Sprinkle some corn flour, salt and a pinch of turmeric on the sliced sweet potatoes. Deep fry them in the healthier choice - rice bran oil. Serve them to young ones as a great alternative to the unhealthy and greasy, store-brought varieties of fries.
By Mehrin Mubdi Chowdhury
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed