A file photo of “NUTRI FEST” organised by Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children on the topic ‘Breakfast for Children’.
Parents should pay attention to colour, appearance and texture when trying to make healthy food appealing to their children’s tastes.
“Colourful, crunchy pieces of fruit go quicker into a child’s mouth than colourless fruit,” said Monika Niehaus, a paediatrician in Germany.
Brown spots on fruit and vegetables, or a slimy texture, such as that of some types of mushrooms, cause most children to reject the piece of food, said Niehaus, spokeswoman for Germany’s professional association of paediatricians, citing the results of studies conducted by the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.
Parents should take advantage of the fact that children are creatures of habit.
“If they always eat fruit or vegetables at a certain time, as dessert, for example, they reach for it more frequently,” Niehaus said.
Vegetables typically are not popular with most children. But when parents give their children a choice of several types of vegetables, they tend to start helping themselves, said Niehaus. Every child likes at least one type of vegetable. Tomatoes or cucumbers are often their choice. Strawberries and apples are typically favourite fruits among children