Any parent of small children can tell you that it can be a constant challenge convincing their offspring to consume healthy foods and beverages. Children are hard-wired to prefer sweet stuff that's high in fat and calories. They have a natural reluctance to eat sour or bitter foods. This aversion protected them from eating certain poisonous fruits and berries as they accompanied their mothers on foraging expeditions. Humans may not live in caves anymore, but the kids still dislike the taste of anything sour or bitter. They'll outgrow this in time, but instead of trying to force them to eat what you know is good for them, why not work with their innate preference for sweet tastes to get some wholesome nutrition in them?
As a general rule, orange and red fruits and vegetables taste sweeter than those of other colours. If you are in charge of developing child-oriented menus on a regular basis, here are several food items that will take the fuss out of feeding children healthy food:
Everyone loves pumpkin pie, of course, but this delicious-yet-healthy gourd can be enjoyed in many other ways, including:
- Pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin muffins
- Pumpkin pudding
Acorn squash, pumpkin's kissing cousin, tastes similar to pumpkin and is especially good when served as a pureed side dish.
Sweet potatoes and yams are both highly nutritious and delicious foods that can easily be included in the average diet. The have similar tastes and are frequently used in the exact same recipes, but the nutritional value of sweet potatoes is slightly higher than that of yams. Nonetheless, either is an excellent choice because most children love how they taste.
Ripe strawberries are another delicious option for inclusion on a children's menu. They can be eaten plain, served with ice cream, or spooned over whole grain pancakes or French toast for a healthy breakfast. Raspberries and red currants are other red berries sweet enough to satisfy the tastes of picky kids. All of these berries can be made into jellies or jams to smooth on biscuits, toast, and muffins.
Whether you cook or plan menus for a child care center in a child care centre, like with Hearty Health, or feed a flock of finicky eaters at home, keep in mind that it's much less stressful to provide healthy foods that work with their innate preference for sweet tastes than to engage in the bitter brocolli battle.