Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Start before birth to get kids to like veggies

Getting children to like vegetables starts in the womb, says Richard Rosenkranz, assoc professor of food, nutrition, dietetics and health at Kansas State.

At least in rodents (no offense), the eating habits of the mother can shape the tastes of the babies.

Once born, infants learn through exposure and variety.

--Rosenkranz says rely on whether the child will try the item, not the face they make once it's in their mouth.

--If they swallow, offer the item over time.

--As early as six months, kids notice whether the parent is eating the food...they take cues from the parents. Parents need to eat items similar to what they are offering the baby.

--Start with sweeter items--corn or carrots.

--When kids develop hand-eye coordination, they will pick up tiny pieces and be distracted by that and not mind the taste. Rosenkranz also recommends cutting items into fun shapes and putting on faces and eyes made of other food items.

--Involve the children in the food prep as early as kindergarten. If  kids wash the veggies or better yet, help shop for them or get them from the garden, they will eat them.

--As kids grow older, respect their input. Let them decide which veggies and fruits they prefer.

Remember, as kids grow into teens, their veggie consumption drops. Put dip and veggies on the counter, make it easy.

My daughter would eat artichokes with orange Hollandaise at age one, scrape the leaves with her new white teeth. I would not say she eats a ton of veggies now, but she doesn't hate them and still buys artichokes for pizza and salad.

No comments: