>> Dec 14, 2013
We all know we’re supposed to eat five fruit or vegetables a day to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals in our diet, but it’s hard explaining to kids why we should eat this way – particularly if their favourite food is chocolate ice cream! It’s even harder if your child is a picky eater. Most mums just give in and supply a rotation of meals that contain their children’s preferred ingredients. But experts agree that it takes several tastes of a food stuff to establish whether a child truly dislikes it and we should encourage our children to broaden their palate as much as possible. Often it’s the texture, the method of cooking, and the presentation of food that influence how it is received. So how do we convince picky eaters to try something new? And how can we get them to eat their daily quota of fruit and vegetables?
One of the easiest ways of making sure your children eat the fruit and vegetables they claim not to like is to hide them in mixed dishes. Pasta sauces and soups, which mask the external appearance of ingredients, are great solutions for sneaking in hidden food stuffs. And what child doesn’t like bread or cake? Both of these can be adapted to include both fruit and vegetables – zucchini, banana, and pumpkin bread are very popular for just this purpose.
Cutting Food into Fun Shapes
Surprisingly, sometimes it can take little more than rearranging elements on a plate to convince a picky eater to try something new. In Japan, kids’ lunch boxes, or ‘bento’ boxes, are examples of cute food presentation taken to the extreme, but it doesn’t actually have to take that much to create a visually attractive meal for your little one. Making faces from food is the simplest way, but did you ever also think of going to town with cookie cutters on these easy cooking recipes for kids? You can also use cookie cutters on cold cuts of meat, cheese, or fruit!
Picky eaters often complain that food looks bland or boring. And we can’t really blame them – some of the least favourite food stuffs do indeed look quite dull – think about fish or cauliflower! But what if you could brighten them up? Wouldn’t that make them more appealing? Some boring foods actually already exist in a variety of different colours – cauliflower, for example, is also can be purple. But if you can’t get hold of multicoloured variants, why not add a little food colouring to brighten up boring ingredients? Kids love rainbow-coloured meals and though the very best consist of plates stacked high with fresh fruit and vegetables, there’s no harm in tinting dishes that might otherwise remain uneaten.