The question of why do children never want to eat vegetables remains unanswered, much to the parents' disgust. A recent study hinted that children do this because of a "primitive" instinct that makes them reject bitter food, because most of the venoms found in nature taste bitter. Isn't it odd?
If this is true, we have to keep in mind that old saying that goes "there's nothing you can do against instinct". Nevertheless, we can adapt to it and use our wit to improve our child's diet. Here are some tricks to get children to eat vegetables:
- Use vegetables as a side dish: Sometimes it's as easy as presenting the vegetables as a complement to a steak or an omelette.
- Prepare innovative recipes: children tire easily of eating the same thing. Vegetables can be prepared in different ways: one day we can put them in a salad, another day in omelette, another day on pizza…
- Keep the plates entertaining: it's laborious and you need time and imagination, but this trick nearly always works. "Painting" a landscape or a face on the dish makes it much more attractive to children. Remember they "eat through their eyes".
- Camouflage the vegetables: old and effective trick used at least once by all mothers or grandmothers, and which consists of putting the vegetables inside the pastry for the meat pies or croquettes, for example.
- Present vegetables as if they were desserts: children love desserts, and not only because of their taste. A cake has a very attractive shape, and we can use this to make a vegetable cake.
- Let the children help in the cooking process: inquiring and restless, children show curiosity about everything. We can take them into the kitchen and show them how we cook the vegetables. It's probable that knowing where it comes from and how to prepare it will make it easier for them to eat it.
Of course, these are only a few pieces of advice. It's possible they all work or that none of them do, as each child is different from the other. But if there's something that always works, even if sometimes it's hard, is being patient.