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The battle between your little one and that bowl of broccoli seems to be never-ending. While it can be frustrating for you as a parent, don't give up hope yet. Here are 8 smart tips that will help you win the food war and turn your veggie 'loather' into a veggie lover.
Beat the bitterness
Starting from broccoli to kale, most vegetables are bitter to taste and young taste buds are averse to bitterness. Unlike adults, they are unaware of the fact that the bitterness comes from healthy nutrients. So take away the bitterness with butter. Adding 1 tablespoon of butter per half cup of broccoli and cooked spinach will do the magic. Humus can be a healthier option.
Serve while they are hungry
Get your vegetable plate out while your kids come back from school. They are massively hungry when they are home and don't have the patience to think ask for something else.
Let dips do the trick
Kids love dips. Several studies show kids are more likely to eat their veggies if they're served with a dip. A recent research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that dressing up a reduced-fat dip with herbs and/or spices made preschool children more eager to taste, eat, and enjoy vegetables even those they hadn't touched before. So, serve those carrots and tomatoes with a salad dressing or salsa. Your little one will gobble the veggies in minutes. Smart tip: Try making your own dressing at home to keep them free from harmful chemicals.
Drive them to the kitchen
Involve your kids in cooking. According to research, kids who are involved in the preparation of vegetables develop a more positive attitude towards them. So get your child to help you add that kale in a green smoothie or shallow fry those carrots in olive oil.
Prep a puree
If your kiddo is put off by large chunks of vegetables, just make a puree out of those. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionreported that children ages 3 to 5 nearly doubled their consumption of vegetables on days when they were served pureed vegetables instead of whole vegetables. The purees could be great additions to the foods that your children already love. Blend the purees until they're smooth.
Let them grow the veggies
This is a great way to tempt your picky eater towards vegetables. Starting from planting the seeds to watching the veggies is a thrilling experience for kids. The whole process establishes their connect with the greens they grow. Taking the children to the local farmer's market to pick up fresh veggies could also work.
Do not give up
Experts say it may take 10 or more exposures to a food before children start liking it. You have to keep offering the vegetable at different meals and in different ways without forcing your kid to like it.
Mask the veggies
It's simple. Just hide them. Make chicken soup with the stock made of vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, onion, and celery. Your child will eat it as she won't see the vegetables. Another smart way to do this is by dicing the veggies really small and adding them to their pasta or sauce.
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