It’s time we get back to basics with vegetables! I know if many of us will start counting the numbers of pieces of broccoli or carrot that your little one eat daily, we will lose counting. Meanwhile, many of us, parents know the building blocks for balanced diets and how important is it to our health.
However, many of us try to ignore the fact that there is the latest piece of research about the type of food our children or we can eat to curb obesity. What parents need to do is to relieve themselves and their kids off pressure. It is high time they went back to basics with fresh food. Rebuild the basics while focusing purely on keeping mealtime fun and positive. Parents should teach their version of Fresh Food 101.
Have you ever heard about veggies? If yes, what are they called? Where do these veggies grow? What is their main shape; are they long, mashed or round? Most times, we do not care about these while eating and enjoying foods with our kids. Instead, we talk about colour and crunch while eating with our kids.
When it comes to food, what we ask our kids is, “Are you okay with carrots sticks and hummus? Do you want cauliflower, mac and cheese? Or avocado on crackers?
We find it easy to forget that we are not feeding our kids with vegetables. This way, we are trying to raise expert and adventurous eaters. There are strategies you can follow to help your kids learn how to eat new foods. This will help improve family mealtimes.
Three steps towards learning to like new foods
1. Building knowledge and awareness
You need to teach your kids some food educations. This begins away from the table. You can start this by learning the names of different vegetables and differentiating them by colours through craft (stickers and paintings). You can also introduce reading books about vegetables and take your kids with you when cooking, gardening or go shopping.
2. Choosing to eat it
You can’t change this suddenly, continue having the family-style meals and involve kids in food. With time, your children will enjoy the veggies, and they will like to increase the variety on their plate. Always try to focus on the mealtime atmosphere and not on the number of bites your children have taken. Remember that some kids take longer to learn than others, but they all can learn, just like any other learning.
3. Willingness to try
If you are a type of family that force children to eat what you want them to eat, you have to stop and introduce another eating method. This can be placing of different types of food on the table and allowing your children to take their choice of food. A child will trust what he sees and will eat it after about 20 positive exposures! Don’t count the number of times, just keep on providing such food. This will encourage them to accept the meal naturally.