Children’s Cravings, Cleaner Eating, & How To Get Your Child More Interested In Plant Based Foods <34
April 5, 2013 by Living Girl Living Foods
As we grow, our taste buds change and sometimes foods we thought were so delicious suddenly taste too sugary or sweet.
I know I personally disliked mushrooms until I went vegan, they made me feel like I was being forced to eat a car tire. I even could hear the rub between, around and in my teeth.
Children’s taste buds happen to be especially different. Bitters are typically not liked.
Here are just a few bitter greens:
Arugula (in the photo above ❤ one of my personal favorites)
Mizuna (kind of a mix of arugula and dandelion greens taste wise)
Bok Choy (baby bok choy also)
Cabbage (which most of these veggies are related to)
Beet Tops, Turnip Tops, Cauliflower Greens, Daikon Greens
Broccoli (and brocollini)
The ones I have noticed most children and adults do not mind though are: kale, collard greens, bok choy, beet tops, arugula, spinach, chard, endive, and watercress. The strong pepper taste that bitters are known for are not as powerful in these.
Why are bitter greens important any who?
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, most vegetables contain antioxidant nutrients, and most of these nutrients are bitter.
They also mention that many of the phytonutrients that act as powerful antioxidants including glucopyranosides like salicins, some flavonoids and polyphenols can add bitterness to your vegetables.
Most of these greens are high in vitamins A, C, fiber, calcium, increase urine production and are crucial for healthy kidney function.
How To Balance Bitters?
Add something sweet 😀
Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, fruit, peas, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and or lettuce
A little can go a long way!
Children’s taste buds absolutely LOVE sweet and salty. This is why crackers, soda, sugar pack stir drinks, cookies, chips, sugary covered cereals, chocolate chip pancakes, candy and so on is rather addicting to them. But I strongly believe this can be calmed down by being careful with what products children eat. Please read labels when purchasing processed foods for your child. You may notice that most cereals are roughly 30% sugar or more per serving and that the second ingredient is sugar.
“Fruit Juice Concentrate” isn’t actually that mental picture we conjure up of fresh pure juice. It is fruit that has had every fruit-like property of it removed. Thus leaving an evaporated concentrated sugar that lacks aroma, flavor, fiber and everything that a fruit could be described as.
Fructose is MUCH sweeter than the sugar that can be found in most people’s cabinets. The sweetness of table sugar is marked at 100, fructose is at 173.
These sugars are highly addicting and like up the brain just as if it were on cocaine. Liquid sugars like in sodas and packaged juices are high in calories, but our bodies do not recognize them. It’s as if the calories are invisible, thus we keep eating more and more.
Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy and keeping a healthy lifestyle is crucial. Our taste buds generally change every 7 years or so. But addictions to these ingredients added to foods can last a life time.
A few ideas on how to get your child or children more interested in plant based foods:
Please when you take your child to the grocery store explain the items in the produce section. Actually let them touch things, smell, enjoy the colors and have them pick out a few things that they would like to eat.
Typically children are more drawn to bright colors and fun shapes. May be a yellow pepper, berries, kiwis, spinach 🙂
If they are old enough, let them pick things to go into a green juice or smoothie. Or may be they choose one green or fruit and you do the rest. Have them put the ingredients in your blender and of course let them hit the start button!
Keep healthier food options at eye level, this way they will more likely choose a fruit over gummy “fruit snacks.” This also usually works with water (works with my nephew)!
If you haven’t made green juices or smoothies for your child before you may be amazed at what greens you can manage to sneak in there 😉
Children usually mimic behaviors. If they see daddy glued to the TV, they will be glued to the TV. Mommy is having a soda, they want a soda. Your health is crucial to your child’s life also, and this could me an amazing bonding experience. I’ve noticed whenever I eat fruit my nephew is suddenly hungry and wants an apple or whatever I am eating too.
Bring your child to the Farmer’s Market, a farm and etc!
Depending the child’s age, explaining the health benefits may actually create a connection, e.g Popeye 😉
Starting them young on a lifestyle high in fruits and vegetables is key! This way their taste buds are already use to these and hopefully aren’t as hooked to processed foods.
If your schedule and budget permits, have a smoothie get together at your house with parents & children from your child’s school. Get other people on board too! This could be a fun event for everyone and may possibly create support you may need.
Even if you do not think your child would like a fruit, vegetable, herb or so forth let them try it! You may be pleasantly surprised 😀 I know my mother was surprised when I was 3 or 4 years old and was begging for more beets.
Let them have a little garden in your yard or may be a herb plant so they can learn about food. How it grows, that it needs water, sunshine, love and so on. This connection will help spark an interest in vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
I hope this was helpful for anyone who is interested in learning more about children’s cravings, some of the ingredients found in processed foods, and ideas on how to get more yummy veggies, fruits & so on in their child’s tummy box!
Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to visit my site. Wishing you all an excellent Friday and a slamtastic weekend. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉