Here’s an easy trick to help your kids love those veggies. Are you ready? Just pair them with their favorite food.
There’s a study that says pairing foods encourage kids to eat their veggies. At a tender age, kids develop a particular liking for some foods but sadly, vegetables aren’t as likable to them. A fun way to make it so is to serve them with their favorites. Kids will try veggies if given to them with those they like and are already familiar with.
A more recent study published in a popular nutrition and diet journal says that pairing is effective. Pre-schoolers below 5 years of age were served Brussels sprouts topped with yummy cheese. The result? They finished the sprouts and said they liked the dish. Later, sprouts were served again, this time without the topping. The kids ate them just the same.
Other veggies like broccoli can be paired with tasty dips that aren’t too high in fat. Serving veggies with dips increase vegetable consumption among kids by more than 70 percent. Another pair that works is celery sticks and dips. Create your own dip to ensure they’re healthy.
Now if you had very few successes, these words of wisdom may be helpful:
Don’t worry if you don’t succeed at first. Keep serving your kids veggies despite their resistance at first. It could take you more than 8 attempts before you could convince them to like the paired veggies.
Try presenting the pairs in many ways. Have you tried pureed veggies? It works well for carrots. Pureed squash with milk makes for a delicious hearty soup.
How about sneaking in some veggies in mushrooms and tomatoes. Dice or grate veggies and mix them with meatloaf or even chicken burgers. Carrots in spaghetti sauce is a good sneak trick. The sauce can also be used on pizza. On the other hand, fruits can be mixed with veggies when making a smoothie.
Get them involved
Create kid-friendly dishes or better yet, prepare them with your kids. You hit two birds with one stone. You get to bond with them and educate them about veggies and healthy food.
Start a vegetable garden or a pocket garden if you don’t have much space. Kids will find it fulfilling to harvest veggies they have planted and nurtured.
Shop for veggies together. This is a smart way of directing their snack choices from sugary and calorie laden snacks to veggie snacks and meals that are healthier and nutritious. Choose veggies that are colorful. Greens, yellows, purples, and reds are hues that have high nutritional value. The deeper the color the more health benefits.
Be creative by using cookie cutters and let them choose the shapes. Young children will like food presented with a twist.
You may have a kid who says no to veggies but with food pairing strategies and a can do attitude, pretty soon they’ll eat the greens off their plate.