October 9, 2014

Why won’t my child eat broccoli?  Why is it so hard for kids to eat veggies? 

Let’s put this into perspective.

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Here’s the timeline of a child’s food experiences: Kids start off drinking sweet smooth breastmilk or formula, the other end of the spectrum – the end goal – is broccoli… bitter, crunchy broccoli.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love broccoli!  It’s actually my favourite vegetable.  And thankfully, my kids eat it.  Here’s how I got them from sweet smooth liquid to bitter crunchy solids.

Two words – Food Intelligence.

What is Food Intelligence?

Food intelligence is the foundation for happy healthy kids.

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It’s the ability to know good food, make good food choices and energise your body with the right stuff.

It’s knowing the awesome variety of foods that are healthy, how to grow, prepare and cook them, and how to eat and enjoy their benefits to your total well being.

It’s the science, maths and language of food.  We teach our kids how to walk, talk, count and read.  We need to teach them how to eat well too – and that put simply, is food intelligence at its core (pardon the pun!).

Why is it so important to include it in your kid’s education?

Informed kids will make better choices.

Getting your kids to eat veggies starts with a solid foundation so they can build their food intelligence and become informed eaters.

Somewhere along the line, our kids lost the knowledge of good clean healthy eating.

We could start the blame game and point fingers at the media, major fast food chains, massive ‘processed/junk food’ companies for brainwashing our kidlets, but it won’t solve anything.

What we can do is take back the power and go back to basics.

Without it, the health problems of our current world will only increase and our kids will not have the tools in place to combat them.

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Empower and inform them is all we have to do.  We all love our kids and just want them to feel happy and healthy.  Which is why food intelligence is so important.  It’s that simple.

How to improve your kid’s food IQ – where should it start?

Our school teachers have enough on their plates with today’s curriculum to go adding to it.

That said, there are some fantastic programs out there that focus on integrating food intelligence education into every day class work.  But really, we are our kids first and last teachers – each and every day.

We model and teach, they copy and learn.  So rather than add to our school teachers load, we can take easily meld this into our daily routine with our kidlets.

The earlier, the better.  And it’s not rocket science, so we can all jump on board with ease.  How?  Here’s the key:

Engaged kids will learn more, remember more and actually have fun whilst they’re doing it!

So if you want them to increase their food IQ, get them involved, start at home, start early, make it fun, immerse their little lives in it and model good food choices for them to imitate.

At home, at the shops, at the dinner table, when packing a lunchbox, when cooking dinner, when watching tv and seeing the ads for less healthy options etc.  You can do it anywhere, anytime.

Whether it’s growing herbs in a pot on the windowsill, peeling a carrot at dinner time or helping you choose the veggies at the market, you can slowly and easily take things back to basics and reap the rewards for your child’s entire lifetime.

We all have our little tricks of the trade to help our kids eat veggies.  Introducing and improving our kids food intelligence was our saving grace.

What do you do to improve your child’s food IQ? 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • Our kids have been involved in our vege garden even before they could walk. I think understanding where our food comes from really helps. In the kitchen, the younger ones help peel veges or simply put the chopped veges into the saucepan. The older kids get to help cut up food, test whether its cooked in the saucepan, and try following recipes to prepare meals. They all help with their own lunch boxes for school, and have limited access to junk food. They understand that junk food and take away food are occasional treats, and for special occasions.

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  • We talk a lot about healthy foods, what animals eat what and how they’re grown. My daughter is only 3 but is super interested in how veges are grown. We have plans to start our own vege garden very soon!

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  • Yes it all stems back to the parents. Growing your own veggies and eating them is the best thing that you can do. You need to show the kids the good choices in life not the bad ones. And you need to start from the word go. Thanks for sharing this article.

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  • We have a veggie garden which helps our kids love collecting food from it to eat that they would normally eat

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  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!

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  • I offer as many different food choices as I can. They more they experience, the more they’re going to like

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  • I think my son has learnt a lot from childcare. He enjoys his veg but also likes his sweet snacks.

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  • I find having them grow a garden they tend to try different foods as well.

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  • yes i grow a little garden so that my kids can get hands on experience. that is how i learnt about vegies. it also makes kids more excited to eat what they have been growing.


    • cheers for promoting ideas such as this one.

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  • Our little one loves growing food and helping cook dinner. Instead of there being good food and bad food we have healthy body food and special treats. Lots of healthy body food gets her very excited.

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  • I am very glad that my parents introduced us different food when we were little. As living in asia, there are more variety of fruits and vegetables available. Everyday we have to try different ones. The idea was just to try, if we don’t like it we discard it from the list. Dad said our palate changes as we grow older and other food can be introduced at a later phase. Which I followed with my own kids and they are happily trying without a big fuss.

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  • I’m lucky and my child actually loves eating fruits and veg!!

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  • We’ve started solids mot long ago but I’m planning to involve my baby girl in food prep as soon as possible but most importantly to lead by example.

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  • I have to educate about healthy eating and this means to lead by example.

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  • great read. This is so true our kids love everything as we started giving them the freshest fish and veggies from 6 months old.

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