Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size
A
A
A

Kids Just Want to Have Fun with Food

Boost the 'fun factor' of healthy foods with these tips and recipes.

Fun Cooking and Serving Tips

One important way to increase the fun factor of healthful foods is to involve kids in the cooking and serving process, experts say.

"Cooking is fun, and kids who like to cook generally like to eat," advises Sam Mead, senior editor of Family Fun magazine.

Some healthful foods can't help but be fun: "Smoothies, for instance, are fun to make and delicious to drink," says Mead.

5 More Tips

Here are 5 more tips for making cooking and eating fun:

1. Baking is a great way to get kids into the kitchen.

"Kids like the magic of seeing things change in the oven," notes Ginny Callan, a former vegetarian chef and author of the Beyond the Moon Cookbook.

Callan says her two children often stand before the glass window of the oven door, watching the muffins rise. Bread dough is tons of fun because kids can handle it by kneading, braiding, rolling or shaping, like when making pizza or cinnamon rolls.

2. Learning to make ethnic dishes is not only fun, but helps teach children about other cultures.

Compared to standard American fare, ethnic foods are often more healthful alternatives. Check out our recipes below for some kid-friendly versions of foods from other countries.

3. Cooking can help introduce children to new foods.

Kids aren't always eager to try new foods, but Callan believes a sure way to get children to try something new is to let them help make it. For example, kids might be more willing to taste soy milk if they're pouring it into a smoothie they're whipping up. And they might be less green-phobic if spinach is an ingredient in the dip they are blending.

4. Make the eating as much fun as the food by using interesting tableware.

Try using small plates, dessert forks, bamboo skewers, chopsticks, and similar wares to promote a fun atmosphere at the table. Have fun with your garnishes and table settings, too.

5. Don't forget to show appreciation to your little helpers.

Kids are natural performers and they love to hear the "oohs" and "aahs," Mead says

Fun and Kid-Friendly Recipes

Try these parent-and-child recipes to boost the fun factor in your own kitchen.

Make-Your-Own Pocket Bread

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal 1 pocket as 3 slices of "sliced bread, toast, whole grain bread."

You'll need a bread machine for this recipe.

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt

  • Pour the water into the bread machine pan. Add the sugar and flour. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast. Pour the salt into a corner of the pan.
  • Set the bread machine for the dough cycle (usually 1 hour and 40 minutes), and press the start button. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough from the pan and divide it into about 6 pieces.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°. Dust the cutting board generously with flour. With a rolling pin, flatten each piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Place these pitas on a cookie sheet.

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
pantry
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens