Vegetables are among the foods at the basis of a healthy diet, and they become even more important when it comes to children. They are not always appreciated, but if prepared in a delicious and original way they can conquer even the little ones. Let’s find out how
Consuming at least five portions of vegetables and fruit every day is one of the basic rules to ensure health and well-being from childhood : however, these foods are very often not appreciated by small consumers, who prefer pre- packaged snacks as a snack, or limit the choice to bananas. , apples, potatoes, carrots and peas. When it comes to nutrition, however, varying as much as possible is important in order to ensure all the nutrients and vitamins necessary for our body, especially if you are in the growth phase .
To whet the curiosity of children even at the table, it then becomes fundamental to present food in a different way, perhaps involving even the little ones in the preparation of the dishes, and preferring small portions that help them become familiar with unknown foods. Here is a series of tips , developed by the Cortilla experts – the first online farmer’s market that allows you to shop directly in the countryside – to make fruit and vegetables more fun and inviting :
- Even the most hated vegetables can reveal a friendly face: a little ingenuity in the dish is enough to transform broccoli, courgettes and turnips into a table-size “smile” , to win the sympathy (and palate) of children. And for those who want to let their imagination run free, there are toothpicks and pastry rings with the nicest shapes to create flowers, stars or hearts.
- Children need to feel involved and motivated, even in the kitchen. Getting help in the preparation of the dishes, entrusting them with the simpler and less dangerous tasks , is therefore an excellent idea. Shelling the peas, flour the courgettes, mix corn and tomatoes or arranging the vegetables on a baking tray are procedures within everyone’s reach that will make the little helpers feel like real budding chefs.
- An alternative way to loosen the relationships between children and vegetables is through play: part of the ingredients used for the recipes can in fact be used for fun moments of leisure . In addition to the potatoes cut in half from which to make the classic molds, there are celery stalks or pea pods to use as brushes . And for the colors there are natural ones, derived from red cabbage which, with the addition of lemon or bicarbonate, become fuchsia or deep blue .
- Often it is the large quantities that frighten the children: a plate full of spinach can discourage the little ones, who may not feel able to finish it. The secret therefore lies in offering small portions with varied ingredients : two sprouts, some green beans and some cherry tomatoes, for example. The dish will be cheerful, the portions small, and the children will gladly finish it.
- If cheerful dishes, anecdotes about vegetables or other tricks just don’t work, the vegetables can be blended, pureed, chopped: easier to eat, but just as nutritious. Potatoes, peas and green beans, for example, are the basis for a delicate velvety soup. There are also many vegetables that, when blended, pair perfectly with fruit, because they have a neutral taste: try the smoothie made with cucumber, apples, strawberries and orange, with the addition of a drop of honey. A real concentrate of vitamins and fibers to make children’s snacks tastier and healthier.