Jan 5, 2014

Developing kid's interest in salads

As an evening snack, I prepared a bowl of salad yesterday for my 2 year old daughter. She loves steamed sweet corn and tomatoes. Along with these two core ingredients, I also added steamed green gram sprouts, cucumber and carrots, with a dash of salt, pepper, lemon juice and chaat masala.

She loved the way I shake the bowl to mix all the ingredients together. I let her eat on her own, using a spoon. As she was carefully picking out sweet corn and tomatoes, I also showed her the other veggies. I started a conversation with her, asking her the colors of the vegetables and she answered them right. She then started picking sprouts and cucumber on her own and ate a few spoons. She isn't a big fan of raw carrots but I added it anyway, just to ensure she takes a couple of bites at least. To my surprise, she did pick a few of the pieces and chewed them, without spitting it out.

I wanted to share what worked for me and my child, in this whole experience:
- I engaged her during the salad preparation process. She saw me chopping the vegetables, while sitting on the kitchen counter. This intrigued her and developed her interest towards the food.
- I gave more importance to the vegetables she likes and complemented them with other vegetables I want her to try
- She took the cup and spoon and fed herself. Because of the freedom to explore, she was willing to try other vegetables as well
- There was a good interaction opportunity for us, when she asked me to shake the bowl and when I asked her about the colors of different vegetables.

Hope these small tips are useful for other mothers.

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