Forgo the Food Fight

With less than 30 percent of kids eating the recommended five servings of fruit and veggies a day, food fights often erupt.

It’s no surprise a new study by Columbia University, found that elementary-aged kids eagerly ate desserts with hidden veggies. The kids sampled gingerbread–broccoli spice cake, chickpea chocolate-chip cookies and zucchini chocolate-chip bread. Half were told about the unusual vegetable addition, half weren’t. After munching, researchers asked them how they liked the treats.

The interesting finding was that kids thought the broccoli-laced cake and zucchini-infused bread were just fine. Sugar does a wonderful job of hiding the taste of just about everything. You can offer kids ranch dressing and ketchup to cover up the taste of food as well.

Kids like Steven refuse to eat their veggies.

Kids most likely won’t notice hidden veggies, especially in baked goods with added sweeteners. Books like The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious offer lots of recipes to hide vegetables in food. I believe this tactic may be helpful in the short-run, but it takes a lot of work. In the end, you haven’t taught your child to enjoy whole foods, just sugar-coated veggies. The same amount of effort can produce a child who likes to eat veggies, when you apply multi-sensory learning.

Food fights can be avoided when you understand that familiarity makes the palate grow fonder. Involving all the senses into you child’s culinary process is how you teach children to enjoy veggies. That is the foundation of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater. For a synopsis, Click Here.



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