Children require a lot of energy as they grow. Vegetables are low in calories and filled with fibre which takes a lot of time to digest. Unlike milk or cereals, vegetables don’t taste great without added condiments. A child is genetically predisposed to foods that provide instant energy and thus instinctively reject vegetables and favour sweets.
However, vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, which aids in a child’s growth and protects them from serious diseases. The challenge is to get them to like vegetables.
1. Encourage children
Parents should explain to their children the nutritional benefits of the vegetables on display. Also, children learn social behaviour and conduct by mimicking adults in their lives. Hence, parents should encourage their children to try veggies by eating the leafy greens before them.
2. Spice it up
Since children are picky eaters, a plate of freshly chopped carrots, onions, lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, with lemon juice and some salt, will be appetising to them and taste good too. Also, rather than offering plain boiled vegetables, parents can serve their children homemade vegetables and burgers to make them accustomed to the eatable plant parts.
3. Make it regularity
Parents should make vegetable dishes a regular presence during breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will help children accept vegetables as a regular part of their diets and encourage them to develop a taste for such preparations.
4. Get them interested
Cooking vegetarian dishes before children is a great idea to pique their curiosities. Children are instinctively curious and always willing to learn new things. Explaining to them the recipe, the spices used will stimulate their imagination and also their appetite.
5. Be patient
Many of us disliked vegetables as kids and preferred sugary foods like cakes, pastries, fizzy drinks, candies and baked potato chips. It was not until we grew up and realised the health benefits of vegetables that we willingly made them a regular part of our diets. Children will also go through the same process and eventually develop similar tastes.