How To Get Your Kids To Love Their Veggies
Parents often have trouble getting their kids to eat their veggies. It’s an age-old battle and we’re sure that your granny could tell you stories about how your mom or dad didn’t like eating their greens either.
Scientists have a few reasons for it but the most compelling reason is that children are generally more sensitive to bitter foods than adults. Not only do children possibly taste this bitterness more strongly than adults, they also have greater reason to avoid it. In nature, bitterness is a sign of poison and potential toxicity. So it’s a strange biological safety mechanism that is making them avoid certain veggies.
The Flora team have come up with a few ideas that will help you overcome the battle with bitterness and get your kiddies to love their veg in no time.
If It Doesn’t Taste Good To You, It Won’t Taste Good To Them Either
Put some love into prepping your veggies as part of each meal. Don’t treat them like an afterthought. If steamed, plain veggies don’t appeal to you, the likelihood is that it won’t appeal to your kids either. Flora’s got some fantastic healthy and tasty vegetable recipes you can try today. Instead of boiling corn, why not braai the mielies instead? Or make a delicious grilled veg bake instead of mashing the veggies? We recommend making best friends with herbs, spices and a healthy margarine (like Flora) that can take your veggies from blah, to “more, please, Ma!”
Don’t Hide The Veggies
Many people recommend sneaking vegetables into meals. This sends the message that vegetables are somehow something bad, because you have to be tricked into eating them. Rather encourage your kids to fall in love with their veggies by including your kids in meal prep and recipe decisions. Veggies are meant to be the foundation of a healthy diet but your kids won’t develop a good relationship with them if your kids believe that they’re being tricked into eating them.
Some days, you just won’t win and that is OK. Your kids need to understand that vegetables aren’t the enemy. Reacting like an angry drill sergeant while they stare at a plate of greens will only make them more resistant and create negative associations with the food. Rather try again tomorrow and see what happens. The more normal and natural you make veggies as part of your lifestyle, the less of a big deal it will become to them.