Get Kids Eating Fruits and Vegetables – Guaranteed
Do children love sugar? Yes! Do your children like sugar too much? Maybe. Typically, children like sugar more than adults. And there’s a biological reason for it. Usually, I feel confident that mine will outgrow it. And I just think it’s a glorious, fun, and innocent part of their childhood.
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On my weird days, I panic. What if they just like sugar too much? What if they grow up and never eat a vegetable once they are out of my house… I’m never quite sure where the line is. Do you worry that your children like sugar too much? Do you panic that they won’t eat anything green (or orange, or red, or yellow, or purple) depending on the day????
I haven’t met a parent who isn’t worried, in some way, about what their child eats or doesn’t eat. How can we not be? We are what we eat and, as parents, we are responsible for growing healthy, happy, fully-realized tiny humans. That can only happen if we feed them nutritious foods. And if they eat nutritious foods. So how do we get kids eating fruits and vegetables without driving anyone in the family to the funny farm?
Why It’s Easier To Get Kids Eating Sugar Than To Get Kids Eating Fruits and Vegetables
I’ve mentioned this before, but there may be several different reasons that children are evolutionarily programed to like sugar.
A reason…may be that a preference for sweet, caloric substances during rapid growth may have given children as an evolutionary advantage when calories were scarce. That notion is supported by the fact that sugar doesn’t just taste good to children -– it actually makes them feel good, too.
Mennella’s research has shown that sugar is a natural pain reliever in children, and many hospitals even put a sweet-tasting liquid in a baby’s mouth during circumcisions or heel stick procedures to help lessen the pain. (source)
The good news is that their tastebuds are likely to change after their bones stop growing! (source)
So what do you do while they are still growing like weeds and are loving all that sugar? And you want them to have all the nutrition that they need for proper growth and development?
Here’s the one fool-proof way to get kids eating fruits and vegetables.
Get Kids Eating Fruits And Vegetables By Starting Them Early
Like with so many things – start kids eating fruits and vegetables early!!!
For parents who wish to encourage healthy eating in their children, our research offers some valuable guidance. If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often. Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that 5-10 exposures will do the trick. (source)
Since having my first son, I’ve always figured that it would be easier to start off on the right foot than to break a bad habit. So I have. The boys never even tasted sugar or processed or junk food for the first couple years of their lives. I know that sounds crazy, but it really didn’t seem that hard to do. My older son first had something sweet on his first birthday – his cake.
So, before you start to think that I’m the meanest mom evah…simmer down. I handled things this way because I knew that it would be easy for my children to like sugar and salt. They are naturally inclined to these flavors. So I figured my job was to expose them to the more difficult to accept flavors…vegetables, for example. So that’s what I did. Knowing that the early years are the most formative for nutritional habits, I focused on those years particularly – hoping that I was laying a template for the future.
If you feel like you’ve missed this early window, never fear! I have some bonus tricks to get kids eating fruits and vegetables!
And now they eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Mind you – I still get squawked at sometimes if the vegetables touch each other…but they eat them. And they like them. BAM! My job here is done.
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