Getting your Children Interested in Food
From the archives
For younger children, one of the easiest ways of introducing them to the kitchen is to tempt them with a sweet, fruit smoothie.
Smoothies are easy and can be made all year, changing
the flavor according to what fruits are in season.
So as to avoid adding sugar, it’s best to choose a fruit that is very ripe and sweet, and, of course, one that your child likes. Letting your child choose the fruit is also a way of teaching him or her how to shop for fresh fruit, and explain why you don’t buy strawberries from Chile at Christmas. Local fruit is not only fresher and therefore has more vitamins, but it is also nicer on the purse.
Bananas are good all year, and can be mixed with different fruits in the summer. There are endless combinations that change with the seasons.
At the moment, strawberries, melons, peaches, and raspberries are already available in the Geneva region or from nearby France or Italy. Indian mangoes make a divine smoothie, similar to an Indian lassi, and always a favorite for children. The buttery, honey-flavored yellow kiwis from New Zealand have a very short season, but are not as acidic as the green ones, and have just come on the market.
Take a look at what’s in season before you go to the market.
with Indian mangoes in the background
Buy your favorite plain yogurt. Pour the quantity required into the blender or food processor. Cut fruit into chunks. Add to blender. Churn it all up, then taste. If it’s too thick, just add fresh milk (UHT milk gives a strange, not-so-fresh flavor).
For younger children, it is easy to cut bananas up into chunks. Raspberries don’t need to be cut. This is a good time to teach them the easy way to eat a kiwi. Cut it in half for them, then let them scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
They may need a little help with mangoes, melons and peaches, but that too is a way of demonstrating how to prepare them so they can do it on their own when they get a little older.
Let your child taste to see whether they want more strawberries, more banana, or whatever. This is a way of teaching children to be discriminating in their tastes.
Smoothies are about a healthy a snack as you can get. They are the perfect way to introduce your children to the kitchen, without overwhelming them.
Smoothies are full of protein, calcium, vitamin C, and fiber, as well as other healthy things, depending on what fruits you use. Take advantage of this moment to teach your kids about the connection between fresh good-tasting food and nutrition.