New kid-friendly recipes that use delicious prepared beef products to encourage children to consume more fruits and vegetables were unveiled today by the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.
Encouraging healthy eating among children is a significant challenge for many moms, but research shows that pairing well-liked and familiar foods with vegetables and preparing them in interesting ways can encourage children to try vegetables and lead to lifelong healthy habits. Developed by a Culinary Institute of American-trained chef and veteran mom, the Kid Pleaser recipes are available, along with strategies for feeding kids on MeatPoutlryNutrition.org
According to researchers, “neophobia” or “the fear of something new” plays a major role in children’s eating habits. Pediatricians say that frequent, repeated exposure to a new food, may be needed before a child willingly samples it. Pairing fruits and vegetables with foods that they enjoy, however – something called “associative conditioning” – can encourage children to try the new food.
In addition to pairing with a familiar food, researchers say Moms can use a variety of strategies to influence children’s eating, like enhancing the visual appeal of foods by piercing with a pretty toothpick, offering a variety of colorful foods on a plate, creating color contrasts with the plate or bowl, arranging foods in an orderly way and involving kids in meal preparation, which increases their “buy-in” to the foods they prepare.
Source: North American Meat Institute