For children and teenagers, vegetables are almost never at the top of the list of favorite foods, instead there are snacks and various sweets. We have already mentioned a lot in Vida Lucida about the benefits of vegetables and how important they are for our body, being a valuable source of antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins, and how essential it is to motivate the little ones to consume them regularly with the in order to grow healthy.
How to overcome children's resistance to eating vegetables?
Here are 5 tips, ideal little tricks to make vegetables attractive and palatable even to the eyes of the most reluctant children.
1. Decorate your dishes
The first suggestion refers to the aesthetic aspect of the plate, the way to present the dishes on the table. From this point of view, the winning strategy is to use carrots, potatoes, zucchini, peas, aubergines and other vegetables to create imaginative compositions.
For example, children can be offered a mixture of vegetables arranged to create funny faces, or portions in the shape of a heart, star or flower (in this sense, it is possible to use pastry rings, tools available in different shapes, to cut them).
2. Make a fun dish
Always related to the playful aspect, but in this case with a more active role, is the second suggestion: have the children play with vegetables. Therefore, you can cut the potatoes in half to make templates, or use pea pods and celery sticks as brushes. You can also play with colors, such as the natural ones obtained from red cabbages that, with the addition of lemon or bicarbonate, turn fuchsia or blue.
3. The number of servings is a key factor
Presenting particularly large dishes is often counterproductive, as it makes the child believe that it is not possible to eat all the vegetables on the plate. Small portions encourage children more
Another element to consider is variety, in the sense that it is appropriate to present dishes that contain different vegetables, instead of just one type of vegetables, so it is better to present several vegetables and of different colors.
4. Present the vegetables in a different way
Another helpful resource is offering children pureed or chopped vegetables that are easier for them to eat, but just as nutritious. For example, you can opt for a mash based on potatoes, peas and green beans, or propose combinations of fruits and vegetables. Vegetables can also be presented in the form of drinks, for example, a smoothie based on cucumber, apples, strawberries and orange is suggested, with the addition of a drop of honey, for a tasty and healthy sandwich, which is also tasty the child would hardly know that he is consuming vegetables.
5. Involve children in the preparation
Finally, if children participate in preparing the dishes, they will be much more motivated to eat than they have helped to achieve. Therefore, we must entrust them with basic tasks, such as peeling the peas, placing the vegetables in the pan, flouring the zucchini, etc.
This last suggestion also has scientific evidence to back it up. In fact, according to research by academics at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, children who help parents prepare vegetable dishes are more likely to eat them than those who are not called to intervene in the kitchen.
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