Getting Kids To Eat Their Veggies—Taste Psychology
The role that our other senses play in our food preferences is important. We all know that the smell of food affects how it tastes, but visual cues also matter.
Make veggies LOOK appealing. We have assumptions about certain colours or textures. There have been studies done where healthy food is packaged in fast food wrappers and served to children. These meals were automatically well received.
Encourage kids to eat the rainbow, and to look forward to making their plates and bowls colourful. Kids are naturally drawn to colour, so framing brightly coloured foods like bell peppers and tomatoes in a rainbow sequence will entice them to enjoy these choices!
Make it fun! Enchiladas or Citrus Chicken Stir Fry Wraps are kid-friendly! What kid doesn’t love assembling their own food? Make homemade components to provide lots of veggies like grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini, homemade salsa, guacamole, lettuce. (Pro Tip: if you cut lettuce with a plastic knife or tear it with your hands it won’t brown so quickly.)
Make it familiar. Kids like mini hamburgers, so try making hamburgers with mushroom instead. Finger foods like veggie fries are almost always a hit too. Colourful parsnips and carrots, or even a combination of sweet potato and regular potatoes make for a new and fun way to enjoy healthy finger foods.
Zucchini zoodles look like pasta, but are made from zucchini. You can serve this with spaghetti sauce too, instead of the oil and shrimp in our zoodle recipe. If you’re afraid they won’t like the green zucchini peel, you can simply peel them before spiralizing, but it’s worth the effort to encourage your kids to love eating greens, colours, and different textures.