Does healthy food taste bad? If you ask the millions of picky little eaters out there, the resounding answer would be, “Yes!” But, we know that’s not true. Healthy foods are not only important for your growing little one, but with a little imagination you can make them taste great to even the pickiest of eaters. Read on to learn how!
Why Does Healthy Food Taste Bad?
Parents, we’ve all heard it before at the dinner table. “Gross, I’m not eating that!” Despite our best efforts, sometimes those yummy vegetables that we had high hopes for, without fail, will lead to an epic dinner showdown that leaves everyone frustrated and unsatisfied. So, why does healthy food taste bad to little kids? Well, researchers say that children actually don’t naturally care for vegetables; they have to be taught to like them.
That’s because children don’t choose foods for health reasons like adults do, they choose solely for taste, and us nagging them to eat certain foods doesn’t help either. So, what can we do to help make them actually want to eat those veggies?
5 Ways to Make Fruits and Veggies Tastier to Kids
So you kid won’t go near a carrot, but he or she sure can put down some ranch dip with those chicken nuggets! So, why not serve veggies with a side of hummus, ranch, or honey mustard? Good dipping options include:
- Baby Carrots
- Bell Pepper Slices
- Sugar Snap Peas
Look, they went to great lengths to hide that Sharpie mark on the wall from you, so it’s only fair that you hide a few veggies from them. Choose foods you already know they’ll eat and just pull the wool right over their eyes.
- Blend cauliflower in with mashed potatoes, or try cauliflower rice.
- Puree some carrots in with that spaghetti sauce, or red bell peppers will work too.
- Throw some spinach in with that quesadilla, and add extra cheese.
- Add broccoli to macaroni and cheese or fettuccine alfredo.
- When all else fails, make a smoothie.
Sometimes it’s easier to get kids to drink good stuff, rather than eat it. Juice is usually a winner so make sure you make it count when you give it to them. Try this Fruits & Greens Fruit Punch mix from Nutri-Dyn. It’s jam packed with 20 servings of fruits and veggies in each glass! Now you don’t have to feel so bad when your kid will only eat chicken nuggets for dinner!
Make it Fun
Getting kids involved in the kitchen can encourage them to see food differently. Plus if they helped make it, they’ll be more likely to eat it. Does healthy food taste bad? Not when I make it!
It may have to show up a dozen times before they’ll even try it, but the key to encouraging healthy eating is to keep putting it on the plate. Also, make sure you are setting a good example by eating veggies in front of them. Eventually they’ll wonder what they’re missing out on and join in too.
Picky eaters are frustrating, we know. Just keep trying and eventually you’ll get there. In the meantime, make sure you are giving your child a good vitamin supplement (we recommend starting with Herbs for Kids) to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need, even if it’s not from food! Good luck!