Getting kids excited about healthy food

3 children cutting tomatoes and cheese on coloured cutting boards in a kitchen. A woman in a blue shirt is watching them and smiling. There is a glass of dry pasta and a bowl of pasta sauce on the bench.

By Matt Golinski

Having grown up on a farm surrounded by fresh food, I’ve always been passionate about healthy eating. There’s something about being able to wander around, picking fruit and veggies and just eating them that gives you an appreciation for food and where it comes from. 

I’ve been a chef for decades now, and I’ve always been passionate about instilling that same appreciation for healthy, delicious food in others. And through my work with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, I’ve been able to go around to schools and incite some excitement in the next generation of Queenslanders. 

With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s more important than ever that we educate and inspire our kids to enjoy healthy food young, so they carry that into adulthood. Here are some tips to help get your little ones engaged with all things healthy eating. 

1. Make it fun 

Whether it’s getting them grating the carrots or chopping the fruit, find ways to get their little hands on food (safely of course). Let them enjoy the preparation of healthy food and form a strong association between food and joy. 

2. Educate them 

Teach them the importance of eating healthy and explain the benefits of fruit and veggies. Learning how good food is grown is also helpful in getting them to understand and appreciate healthy food, so take them out to a strawberry picking farm or help them grow a veggie patch. 

3. Make healthier versions of their favourites 

Find out what makes their tastebuds zing. Whether that be a combination of sweet and salty or sour, learn what their favourite flavours are and see if there’s a way to recreate a healthier version at home with them. 

If we can get our little ones loving and appreciating healthy food young, I believe we can make a real impact in reducing childhood obesity and give them the tools to lead a healthy life.  

Matt Golinski

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded, professional chef with a passion for creating cuisine using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Well known as one of the original team members of the popular ‘Ready Steady Cook’ television series, Matt has worked as executive chef at some of Queensland’s leading restaurants over his 30-year career.