How to get children to eat vegetables? To make them appreciate vegetables, is it better to present them cooked or raw? In one or more steps? Are there miracle recipes that work with the little ones? Specialist tip.
Esterelle Payany, journalist and culinary critic at Télérama, and Régis Pezous, volunteer at L’école Comestible, which offers food education in schools, were the guests of Dorothée Barbas Barbatruc show. Together, they provided tips for getting young people to eat vegetables.
1- Discover the vegetables
It is often due to ignorance that children are wary of vegetables. Régis Pezous takes vegetable boxes with him to his activities with children. He simply offers to look at them, then touch them … Then he shows photos of the plants: “For example, Brussels sprouts grow on a kind of small palm tree with small slippers hanging from the trunk of the palm tree, it’s completely insane! “
Then it is ideal to have a kitchen garden where the children can observe the daily growth of fruits and vegetables. If you live in the city, Esterelle Payany advises window boxes: “A cherry tomato plant that climbs well. You can also bury a sprouted potato. Before you go on holiday, dig it up. It’s like a treasure to look for. These are the best fried potatoes of their lives “.
Dorothée Barba cut off the head of a leek, which she soaked in water. His children thus saw, fascinated, the porn being reconstituted. “And that’s consistent with this vegetable.”
2- Do not be afraid to eat raw vegetables
Régis Pezous has a hobby: eating raw vegetables, without adding a lot of things like in gratins. “We often imagine that cooking vegetables makes them look better with children. This idea needs to be brushed aside. The biggest risk with a vegetable is overcooking it. The best way to avoid it is to overcook it. , is to eat it raw. “
He especially recommends one vegetable: kohlrabi. “This large flat apple does not grow in the ground. Its taste is close to that of the broccoli” marrow. By cutting it with a knife, we discover a “fruit” even more crispy than the apple. It’s a little sweet with lots of water. It’s magic. Honestly, next to a bowl of chips on an aperitif, it works very well and I can tell you that both bowls are emptied at the same speed “.
3 – Suggest several times
Esterelle Payany worked in a different life for the interprofessional vegetable. “There was one study in particular which showed that in order for a vegetable to be accepted by children, it had to be offered at least ten times in different forms and whether it is raw or cooked. For the carrot we can present them grated, mashed or in shape of a vichy carrot. “
4 – Bring back the pleasure
To do this, tell a story about what is growing in the soil. Régis Pezous explains seasonal relationships with children. He tells them, “the vegetables available to us in the summer are full of water. And it’s good because it’s hot and we have to drink. Whereas in the winter: we have softer vegetables, a little more consistent, which helps “When we bring joy back, it works very well.”
5 – Plan B also in vegetables
Esterelle Payany is a fan of the vegetable set. “At home, there are always two vegetable dishes. The advantage of having leftovers, and storing them well in the fridge, is that anyone who does not want to eat the vegetable that is planned for the day’s dish will be able to enjoy vegetables from the day before I make sure , that there is a raw and a cooked, so they can change things and take into account their changing tastes.
6 – Dealing with food neophobia
It is a known phenomenon: children do not like to taste new things. Esterelle Payany specifies: “We are naturally conditioned to be vigilant about what we eat. If it is not visually reassuring, the children will not taste it. The typical example is ratatouille. It is full of delicious things, but in shape of magma.You do not know what to eat.It is not reassuring at all.While if a child tasted sautéed zucchini, pieces of eggplant and then a little tomato sauce, he will have less problems.For vegetables like celery, we increase dosages a little after a little in a soup, for example. “
7 – Vary the ways to prepare them
Esterelle Payany offers carrots in hot dogs or “Car’hot-dog”. And vice versa: she suggests a sausage with zucchini around. Among his finds: baked green asparagus with puff pastry all around used as boiled egg dip. She also makes vegetable pesto (tail of green vegetables, oil and seeds) to enhance the pasta. And the vegetable pizzas, and the chickpeas with spinach work well with the little ones.
Régis Pezous advises, in addition to cracked radishes on pizzas, vegetable balls: “On a base of a few crushed boiled red beans, or in a little grater, you can put almost any vegetable. Make dumplings of all sizes. The important thing is to make them make dumplings yourself. They want to have fun throwing. “
Do not pronounce the name. Dorothée Barba takes this advice from a previous guest in the program: “The secret behind eating certain dishes is not to pronounce the names of the foods. Serve the zucchini without saying what it is.”
Look for the presentation: have fun with mixed salads, make the rainbow, it works very well. You can also have fun with colors and make completely red, completely green plates.
Eat differently: beans with your fingers, for example!
LYT | Barbatruc on vegetables and fruits