In this challenge, you are not alone!
Why aren’t some fruits and vegetables our children’s favorites? It’s not always the taste or texture. Perhaps it is necessary to apply one of the essential ingredients for children: imagination!
Below are 5 tricks to help you conquer your children’s palate. They will also help you educate them about good nutrition. Because good habits can last a lifetime!
1. Explain the benefits to them
Don’t talk about vitamins but rather super powers, such as bones of steel, dragon eyesight, unicorn nails, mermaid hair. Children’s imagination is an inexhaustible resource!
2. Mask the taste
Some children have a hard time eating foods with bitter flavors, like spinach and other green vegetables, which are an excellent source of calcium. That’s why many love ingredients like ketchup, which masks the original flavors and adds a sweet touch.
A good trick is to mix these bitter vegetables with sweeter ones, like pumpkin, corn, peas, carrots. Make creams or purees in which these sweeter vegetable flavors predominate so that the more bitter ones are almost indetectable. You can also make smoothies, ice cream, sorbets, and juices from the less appetizing fruits.
3. Change the shape
Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t happen at first! Your goal is for your children to keep trying the flavors once again to little by little get them used to them.
Create drawings with the salad or with the fruit dessert. What you cut into slices, now cut it into squares and vice versa, or cut it in fun ways. Grated carrot can be the hair of a smiling face. A slice of tomato can be a ladybug if you add slices of black olives to it. The important thing is that you present them in a different and creative way!
4. Reinvent the names
Children react positively when something catches their attention. If you associate a food with a fun moment, you already have a lot of advantage. But, if your children have already created resistance to a food, then you have to carry out a process of “cleansing” and counteract the problem in several ways.
One of them will be to eliminate the name that causes your children “negative experiences” when eating. Therefore, “broccoli” has to disappear and in its place will be born the “little trees,” “little aliens” and everything that your imagination and theirs invents. As soon as they smile at the invention, you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction.
5. Have fun with every bite
When eating with your kids every day, take the opportunity to have fun together and enjoy the meal.
Create a turn-based round, a kind of contest, challenge or bet in which everyone must do something when taking their bite: a funny gesture, an animal sound, a dance with their hands. Whoever eats that food and makes the funniest gesture wins. And, be prepared to participate because it will only be effective if everyone laughs together!
Other effective tricks:
- Use trays and plates with their favorite characters.
- Take them grocery shopping and go in search of foods with super powers.
- Serve them small portions of each food.
- Cook together often.
- Give them the opportunity to choose from several food options to make them feel in control.
- Plant a small vegetable garden. Bring them closer to fruits and vegetables from another angle!
And above all, be the example.
None of this will work if you don’t do it first. Remember that you are the example for everything, and they will mimic what you do. So, activate you imagination and include it in your next recipe. You will be surprised!
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