Nowadays most of the moms I interact to, complain about the eating habits of their children. I feel that feeding veggies to children is the most discussed topic among mothers globally, and is a major parenting challenge.
Also I have observed that mothers try and hide veggies to feed them. We see various advertisements of products like noodles, ready to serve soups, ketchup wherein they show ways to trick the child to eat veggies. I suggest rather than hiding vegetables, one should be patient and creative to make them eat the veggies and enjoy the food they eat.
My reasons for not hiding the veggies are:-
The amount of nutrients that your child will get from one serving of veggies will be insignificant.
The child will never learn about the nutritional value of the food they eat when they grow up, as they have always have been fed those veggies by hiding them. For example veggies like brinjal hidden with potatoes in the wraps with ketchup.
Rather than hiding the veggies teach children about health, nutrition, how the eco system works, how veggies are grown, cooking, in order to develop an interest in the food they eat which is necessary for the survival of humans.
So, how to get your kids to eat veggies?
Eat your veggies: First and foremost as adults we need to eat all the veggies. Lead by example. Children learn by observing. Cook all types of veggies at home.
Start young: Start feeding veggies to children as soon as 8 or 9 months. You need to make the child develop a taste for veggies. Initially you can start with veggies like carrots, potatoes, peas and brinjal. Can mash it and feed initially. As soon as they turn 10 months, can boil the veggies and let them chew and eat. If suddenly you shall start feeding vegetables after the age of 1 year then they will take time to eat and develop a liking.
Offer alternatives and cook innovatively: Keep trying and offer alternatives. If your child doesn’t like carrot, offer tomato. If they don’t like tomato offer broccoli. If they don’t like broccoli offer corn. But don’t stop trying. So try alternative options. Also mix different veggies and give tasty but healthy options. Don’t over -cook and don’t give blend food. Put proper flavouring.
It takes time for children to develop liking for veggies as they are exposed to lot of packaged food and junk food nowadays. So the key to developing healthy eating habits is to start young.
Also refrain from bribing them to eat food. Do not let them eat food while watching television or watching cartoons on mobile phones or tablets. It hampers brain development and affects the digestion process.
I hope after reading this blog post more mothers would make their children relish veggies and will refrain from feeding the child veggies by hiding them.
Yesterday I tried a healthy soup recipe with veggies which I would like to share here:
Mix veggie soup:
Paneer Whey 5 cups
Broccoli 10-12 florets cut into small pieces
Tomato 2 medium sized
Carrot 1 finely diced
Onion 1 medium size sliced
Corn kernels 4 table spoon
Pepper powder as per taste
Salt as per taste
Italian herbs as per taste
*Paneer whey is the slightly yellowish liquid that gets leftover while making paneer (cottage cheese). You can alternatively prepare the soup using vegetable stork.
Add tomatoes, few pieces of carrot and onion to paneer whey and pressure cook it at medium flame till 2 whistles. Once it cools, blend it.
Boil broccoli florets, carrot and corn separately.
Mix the two and add flavouring. Serve hot.
Enjoy preparing the soup. Please share your feedback by putting in comments.