They say that kids should eat at least five portions of veggies per day – an impossible feat for most moms who struggle to get their kids to eat even a spoonful of goodness at any given mealtime. We’ve put together six possible reasons why children don’t like vegetables.
So, what’s the deal? Why do kids dislike vegetables? Is it the colour, the texture or the taste? Or has it got nothing to do with actual food and everything to do with a battle of wills?
1. Healthy = less tasty. We always try to encourage our kids to eat their veggies by telling them about the health benefits, but according to a 2014 study, children who are told certain foods will make them stronger, smarter or taller are less likely to want to eat them.The study also found that children ate more of a food when it was presented without commentary or when it was presented simply as ‘tasty’, without any indication of its ‘usefulness’.
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2. We give them too much credit, when they do eat veggies. Kids who are praised for doing something that they already enjoy, experience less internal motivation to keep doing it.So, next time your child voluntarily takes a bite of a vegetable, hold your happy dance and practice some nonchalance!
3. Your child just doesn’t like the way you prepare her veggies. Have you ever asked your child how she would like her vegetables to be prepared? Your child’s veggie phobia could be as simple as you not getting the taste combos right: You might serve it plain, but your child might prefer it sprinkled with some lemon and herbs (on broccoli and peas), or cinnamon (on pumpkin and butternut), or grated cheese (on anything).
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4. Nagging creates a negative association. While putting some gentle pressure on kids to eat their veggies might be acceptable, it’s best to avoid nagging, as all it does is create a negative association. If you’ve spent the last five years of your child’s life nagging and moaning about vegetables, just seeing it included in a meal, will bring up a feeling of dread in your child’s mind.
5. Sneaking veggies into other food can be a deal breaker. It can be a deal breaker. Especially if you’ve snuck it into their favourite meal! Kids have feelings, and they do not take kindly to false pretenses or the act of being lured – especially when it involves their favourite person ruining their favourite meal.
6. Monkey see, monkey do. Lastly – if you’re not big on veggies, don’t expect your kids to be either. Our kids form eating habits based on what they see us eat, and how they see us respond to different foods. In short, if you want your child to love veggies, best you start digging in yourself!
The post “Yuck mom!”: 6 Reasons why children don’t like vegetables appeared first on All4Women.