Of all the picky eaters out there, children who don’t like vegetables are the worst. If you have children who would rather go hungry than eat their greens, you are not alone.
Many parents come up with creative ways to get their children to eat better. This is even more important when it comes to high volume catering for crèches and schools.
Make vegetables fun
Make mealtime fun. Turn eating vegetables into something to be enjoyed. Get your kids to pretend to be dinosaurs who only eat greens or if you don’t mind bad table manners, stage an eating contest to see who can eat the most broccoli in five minutes.
Get them to help prepare the veggies
Kids are more likely to view vegetables in a positive light if they have helped to prepare them. You could also take them along next time you go grocery shopping and have them pick out vegetables that they think they might enjoy.
Use tasty ingredients along with the vegetables
While this may go against the ‘healthy’ part of eating vegetables, adding salty or sweet ingredients can mask the taste of veggies. Try preparing broccoli with cheese sauce and bits of bacon, or a pinch of sugar with some carrots.
Reward good eating habits
This is where the old saying ‘you can’t have any dessert until you’ve finished your dinner’ comes into play. Prepare a delicious chocolate cake, or offer their favourite ice-cream, but under the condition they eat all their vegetables first.
Arrange the plate into something fun
Most children prefer different foods separated on the plate. Use this to your advantage and get creative! You could create their favourite super-hero logo, a cute animal or even a simple smiley face. Take a look at these easy catering recipes of creative plating ideas for kids.
Take advantage of flavour pairing
Research has shown that children are more likely to develop a taste for vegetables if paired with their favourite foods. Children will eventually understand that it is normal and healthy to eat vegetables with every meal.
When all else has failed sometimes you just need to be sneaky. Vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes can all be added to a variety of different dishes and will also have their taste masked by the other ingredients.
Feeding growing children can be challenging but it is more important to ensure that they enjoy a balanced diet to help them grow and develop. There are even a number of chef training programmes that teach young people about diet and nutrition and high volume catering.