Do you want your children to eat more vegetables? Make them participate in the kitchen
As healthy as repudiated by the smallest of the house. So are the vegetables, one of the necessary foods in all diets but which are often rejected by children leading to an eternal dispute in which parents try to make their children eat them. However, there are formulas to achieve this goal, either by making it fun and creating original dishes with these ingredients.
Or having children participate in the kitchen. A proposal born of the investigation of Nestlé Research Center and that has been published in the magazine Apetite. In this study it is reflected how the fact of including the smallest ones in the elaboration of the dishes that later they are going to eat, favors that later they ingested vegetables.
Greater involvement, better diet
In order to check how the participation in the kitchen influenced, the researchers gathered a total of 47 parents together with their children and they were invited to participate in the elaboration of a menu that they should later eat. Among the dishes that had to be done were chicken rations, salads, pasta and some meals that included cauliflower among its ingredients.
For their part, children had the option of participating in the kitchen or playing while their parents were engaged in this task. Little more than half of the children chose to get involved in this work and lend a hand. Within this group, the 76% of them he ended up eating his salad rations and showed a greater appreciation of ingredients like cauliflower.
Those responsible for this study pointed out that the answer to this situation was the positive experience that the children had in the cooking process. Children had fun making these dishes and therefore were more predisposed to end up consuming something they had prepared. "The results indicate that involving the little ones in the preparation of these dishes can help in the development of eating habits healthy and increase the consumption of vegetables ", concludes Klazine Van, director of this work.
In addition, the results also indicated that children who participated in the cooking process at the end of the work showed greater self-esteem and more independence from the rest. These minors showed a greater predisposition to work for themselves and to participate in the tasks of the home, again, the sense of fun and positive experiences explained these results.
Get them to eat vegetables
Involve the child in the cooking process is not the only formula to get the little ones eat vegetables. There are other techniques with which to make this food a common dish in the diets of minors:
- Unique dish No menu a la carte, unless there is a food allergy. Children should eat the same as their parents, albeit in different portions, and adapt to what has been cooked.
- Give example. It is useless to make the child eat the same as the rest when one of the parents cooks something special to avoid the vegetables.
- There are no punishments. The vegetable is not an obligation, it is something tasty. That is why you should not threaten children with punishment if they do not eat what is on the plate, you just have to stand firm and invite the children to try this dish.
- Do not offer anything in exchange for eating them. If the plan is to offer a chocolate in exchange for eating the vegetables, the parents will be recognizing that the first option is better than the second and these will continue to maintain the negative image of the green dishes.
- Healthy alternatives. The afternoon arrives and the children want to have a snack. Instead of resorting to industrial bakery, why not a fruit salad or a carrot troceda?