Studies show that kids don’t want to eat vegetables because of their bitterness. We each carry a gene called TAS2R38. This gene could be the cause of the aversion of bitterness in children. There are 2 variations, one is bitter sensitive and the other does not affect bitterness. Studies show that in children the bitter sensitive is more prevalent.
Most kids like things like spaghetti sauce and creamy drinks. If you take the veggies and either puree them, shred them or chop them very small you can hide them in your children’s favorite dishes. Try making your next spaghetti sauce with shredded carrot and zucchini. Both will melt right into the sauce and the kids won’t even know they are there. Try V-8 fusion, these drinks have the creamy taste of fruit but have many vegetables and their vitamins hidden inside them. Your kids will drink them as a snack or even breakfast and not even know you have tricked them!
When people make a salad for dinner they tend to stick to the boring old tossed salad or even venture off into a straight up Caesar salad. Try making them a little more exciting by adding easy ingredients that you may already have in your cupboard like a can of baby corn, chick peas (garbanzo beans), or canned beets. These additions are full of protein and are healthy but will give your salad a little crunch as well.
You don’t have to stick to vegetables in your salads either. You can recreate any salad by adding in pasta or potatoes. Don’t remove the lettuce; you’ll want to keep that as a base. (Cheaper and healthier) Most pasta and potato salads have a thick mayonnaise base to them which counteract your healthy offering. Just add a cup of whole wheat penne or rotini into your tossed salad and let the kids pick their own low calorie dressing to add to it. This works with potatoes too, try a nice nugget potato or a fingerling and add little cuts of them into your mixed greens for an extra kick. If you want to use a regular potato this works too but I suggest peeling it as in a large potato the peel holds a lot of bitterness. You can take a salad like this on a picnic and not have to worry about it spoiling or take it to your neighbours BBQ and look like a chef!
Mix up your lettuce, there are many types of greens out there, try something new. Another great way to make your salad more interesting is too cook a portion of it and heat the dressing in the pan with whatever you cooked. Make your Caesar salad more appealing by adding some chicken, celery, carrots and maybe a little broccoli to the pan, sauté it and then add your dressing to these vegetables in the pan, pour the whole bit over your lettuce and it will bring out flavours you never knew existed in salad. This works for all types of salads, Greek, tossed, spinach salad or anything you are making. When you do this use a mix of some raw veggies and some hot cooked ones and when you mix it with your lettuce you will have a blend of textures. This is kind of the same aspect of a taco salad when you have hot and cooked items and mix them together. Voila, you have a meal! These are all great ways to get rid of those boring potato salad, macaroni salad and bean salad that everyone want to bring to the party.
These are just a few ways to get your family and kids to like and eat veggies but if you take these tips and swap the ideas around with some of your own they become endless. Not sure what I mean, try adding some raw veggies to your cooked bag of frozen veggies that you normally have at dinner!
For an interesting idea on how to improve love life click here!