Jumat, 23 Juli 2010

Grow Some Vegetables

By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food

Studies have found that children who grow vegetables end up liking the vegetables better.  Growing vegetables taps into many unconscious instincts that children have for learning to like foods. 

Children like to "get to know" a food before they trust it enough to eat it.  This makes sense if you consider that in prehistoric times, many wild plants were poisonous.  A child who ate new plants indiscriminately might get poisoned.

Gardening is a great way for your child to get acquainted with a vegetable and get to feel that it's safe.  It's your own creation, and you can watch it grow from a tiny seed to a huge, fruiting adult plant.

Home grown vegetables and fruits are also extremely tasty.  One of the reasons that many children don't like fruits and vegetables in the modern world is because they aren't fresh.  The freshest vegetables in the supermarket are probably a week old.  The taste of a fresh tomato plucked off the plant will make even a confirmed tomato-hating kid love tomatoes.

Tips and Techniques

If you love gardening, you and your child can plant a vegetable garden.  If you're less of a gardener, or you don't have much time, you can still grow a pot or two of tomatoes or herbs.

There are many beautiful perennial fruit trees.  Plant a cherry or apple tree in the back yard.  The flowers are gorgeous and sweet-smelling.  And your child will love to pick the fruit.

Consider planting hardy, perennial herbs outside, like mint.  Many herbs are as hardy as weeds, and you'll always have fresh herbs to throw in a salad or soup.

Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.