The chefs at Destination Hotels understand the importance of teaching children to enjoy eating healthy and balanced meals. With a commitment to providing healthy food options at our collection of hotels and resorts, our chefs have shared some of their healthy eating tips for kids.
1. Learn what the season has to offer. September in Colorado means apples, pumpkins, zucchini and cranberries will all be available. Go to the farmers market to see what the local farmers have to offer. While there, let your kids select fruits and vegetables, chances are if they participate in picking it out, they’ll eat it. – Rodney Herwerth
2. Substitute sliced fresh fruits, dried fruits, or nuts for sweets or candy for snacks. They’re filling, tasty and nutritious! – Wild Dunes Resort.
3. Silence can be golden. While it’s important to talk about nutrition with your kids, announcing that you’re making a “healthy new dish full of vegetables for dinner” will probably give your child the preconceived notion that they’re going to dislike it, or will discourage them from even trying it. Instead, just set the plate down and let your kid explore it and decide for themselves if they like it based on taste, not based on whether they think it’s good for them or not. – Jessie Lee Williams Jr., Paradise Point Resort & Spa.
4. Make sure your child eats breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and it should ideally be the largest meal of the day to get your child off on the right foot. After ten to twelve hours with no food it’s important to refuel the engines. If they don’t eat in the morning they’ll be tired and unable to concentrate in school before lunch. It’s essential that children jump start their metabolism in the morning so their bodies don’t enter starvation mode, which might later cause them to experience difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less, have better hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills. – Jason Friendy, Resort at Squaw Creek.
5. Put good in, get good out. Eating healthy foods provides your mind and body with what it needs to perform at its best. – Manor Vail Lodge.
6. Make cooking together fun and allow kids to finish a dish with garnishes (such as apples, raisins and cinnamon powder). They will enjoy eating something that they helped to prepare – Alessandro Serni, Terranea Resort.
7. Know farmers, know food! Involving kids in the process of meal planning is an easy way to keep kids interested in healthy foods. Farmer’s markets are increasing in popularity across the nation and this is a great way to decrease your family’s carbon footprint while enjoying produce that is fresh from the farm. Have fun by letting the kids choose their own vegetables and starches each week and challenge them to try new things. They will be able to interact with the growers at the different booths and ask questions about the produce and the farms on which they are grown. Help them along at first and give them questions to ask such as “how long does it take to grow a tomato?” or “Do you have animals on your farm?” “How many different types of fruits and vegetables do you grow?” “What does heirloom mean?” “How does it taste?” “What is your favorite way to prepare this? Having knowledge of the food they are eating will build better eating habits and enjoyment for years to come. – The Stonebridge Inn.