Healthspan November 09, 2017

It’s not just pickiness that stops your little one from eating their greens. A survey by Healthspan revealed kids are actually hard wired to shy away from green foods.

Four in ten children believe the colour of food affects the taste of it and unsurprisingly green topped the list of unpopular food colours choices.

Rob Hobson, Head of Nutrition at Healthspan says, “Current guidance from the Department of Health recommends that the diets of all children aged 6 months to 5 years are supplemented with vitamins A, C and D to help support proper growth and development."

Not only are kids missing out on vitamins A, C and D when they don’t eat their vegetables, a refusal to eat green foods like broccoli, asparagus, and green peppers means they could also be missing out on important nutrients such as folate, B vitamins and omega three.

Fortunately, there are plenty of cheats when it comes to factoring green vegetables into your child’s diet.

5 top tips for hiding greens in your kids’ food

1. Whizz kale into a tropical smoothie

A small amount of a green veggie in a smoothie will be completely masked by the taste of its other ingredients. Combine blueberries, yoghurt, strawberries and honey with a small amount of kale and your kids won’t even know they’ve eaten anything green!

2. Mix spinach into their scrambled eggs

They have to eat the green to eat the rest of the food – pretty simple really. For an extra taste sensation sprinkle some cheddar cheese across your scrambled eggs before serving, not only will this add a little extra flavour, it’ll mean an extra dose of calcium which is really important for your child’s growth.

3. Make a pea ‘hummus’

Peas are a naturally sweet vegetable and make a delicious dip when whizzed up with ingredients like garlic and lemon juice. Another top tip is to bake cut up, wholemeal tortilla wraps and use them in place of crisps. Much less salt than a packet bought from the shop.

4. Add veg to homemade cakes

We all know children have a sweet tooth, so what better way to up their veggie intake than to hide them in cake? Courgette, beetroot and sweet potato are all vegetables that work really well in sweet muffins. Great as an afternoon treat.

5. Chop it up

If it’s small they’re much more likely to eat it. Chop up cucumber into tiny pieces and mix it with couscous and plenty of other veg like multi coloured peppers or grated carrot. You’ll be left with a rainbow of colours that is psychologically much more attractive to your little one.

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