Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
step 3: increase vegetables Tip of the disliked vegetable was low. However, by the time they had sampled it seven or eight times, surprisingly over 70% of these children not only accepted the previously spurned vegetable, but really liked it - readily eating as much of it as their other favourite veggies. Raw vs Cooked: Is there a nutritional difference? A veggie in its raw state is the most nutritious choice because the enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients are intact, right? Not always. Some vegetables are actually healthier when cooked, as applying heat increases the levels of some nutrients by breaking down the cell walls of the plant, releasing the nutrients contained within. Roasting can boost a carrot’s levels of beta-carotene by over 30%. This key antioxidant supports our night vision, guards against heart disease, several cancers (bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, esophagus) and is a particularly potent lung protector. Another great example is steamed spinach which has higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant that helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Heating Popeye’s favourite veggie can also help your child absorb more calcium. Spinach is also more compact when cooked, so your child gets more nutrients per mouthful. Lightly cooking vegetables such as capsicum, broccoli and cauliflower can also be easier to digest for some children. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COOK VEGGIES? The method you use can make a big difference in how many vitamins and minerals your child ultimately gets from his vegetables. High temperatures can diminish some of the vitamins and minerals by 15-30%, with boiling being the biggest culprit, so avoid boiling vegetables. Steaming until crisp-tender is the most nutritious way to prepare vegetables, as this methods retains most of the vegetable’s natural liquids. Sautéing and grilling are also good options. And remember, roasting vegetables is a great way to get rid of their bitter taste. WHAT ABOUT FERMENTING VEGETABLES? The lactobacilli in fermented vegetables, such as pickled cucumbers, carrots or sauerkraut, enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. Numerous helpful enzymes are produced as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. These bacteria promote the growth of healthy bacteria or flora throughout our intestines. Start slowly when offering to your child, 1 tablespoon per mealtime is adequate. See our recipe for a great child-friendly Fermented Carrot Sticks on my website, www.wholesomechild.com.au. So why won’t kids For older children, add veggie sticks such as cucumber, carrot or capsicum eat veggies? We are born with a natural predisposition to prefer sweet and salty flavours, and to reject bitter or sour tastes. Nature intended it to be this way to protect us when we were hunters and gatherers, helping us stay away from poisonous bitter plants. Although toddlers may start loathing any food, vegetables tend to take the biggest hit. Here’s a few common reasons why: to the lunch box in place of, or alongside fruit. Cut vegetables into thin slices or small enough pieces so that they don’t pose a choking risk to your child. 1. No predictability Of course there is no predictability when it comes to vegetables. A local seasonal carrot can be delicious and sweet. A carrot that has been imported or has been in cold storage for a few months may have an entirely different consistency and not be as sweet. An experience with a bitter carrot can easily turn a child off carrots for good. Visually, they do not appear the same either. My son is an avid veggie eater, but will turn his nose up at the sight of a brown spot in a favoured veggie. And if you are buying organic, you will know that nature does not always turn out the best looking produce. 2. Too many sweet foods too early on One of the leading nutritional causes of fussy eating happens when children are exposed to sugar too early, as it alters their sweet taste receptors. If a young child’s developing taste buds are exposed to too many sweet foods too often, they develop a preference for that kind of food and will fail to appreciate the natural sweetness of vegetables. Goal 3: INSPIRE AND MODEL 1. PERSEVERE Because we know human beings are genetically predisposed to enjoy sweet foods and reject bitter ones from a young age, it’s important to make the effort to offer our children vegetables in their natural state over and over again. Repeated exposure to veggies from as early on as possible is the best way to avoid fussy eating. Always give your child a chance to experience the true flavour of foods, even in the face of 111 you know? Did Thanks to its thick skin, the cleanest produce with the least amount of pesticides is avocado.