3 Foods kids often refuse & recipes to inspire them
3 Foods Kids Often Don’t Like & Recipes to Inspire Them
All kids are different and they all have different sensory preferences to one another. This means most children will have foods they love and some (or many!) that they are ‘learning to love‘. There’s often a common theme that categorises the foods they love or the regularly refused foods. It might be they are too dry, too crunchy, too chewy, too saucy or wet, too sweet, too white or perhaps too colourful. Usually, because of some of the reasons just mentioned, the following 3 foods – broccoli (or green veg), meat and spicy foods – are among the most commonly refused foods amongst little kids. Tuning into your child and offering the foods in new ways that stretch them sensitively by catering to their usual food preferences may be just the trick to find the refused foods on the love list.
So have a read below on why they can be challenging foods for little ones and some yummy recipes to inspire new interest and enjoyment of these nutritious foods.
It’s true. Broccoli, must be one of the most challenging foods for little kids. It’s bright green in colour, it has a furry textured floret, a harder textured stalk and if it’s not cooked to perfection it can be hard to chew or taste very bitter. Serving it steamed on the plate every other night might not be the way to inspire kids to enjoy it (some kids love it like this) but cooking it in a variety of ways such in stirfrys, with sauces, chopped finely through fritters, nuggets and pastas can be better accepted. Making each exposure positive and non threatening will usually facilitate enjoyment.
- Baby Puree: Chicken, broccoli & pear puree
- Dip: Broccomole
- Nuggets: Cheesy, turkey broccoli bites
- Quiche: Yoghurt, broccoli quiche
- Pasta: Cheesy, carrot and broccoli pasta
With meat sometimes it’s the taste, sometimes it’s the texture and sometimes they just don’t know how to eat it. But it’s common for young kids to be meat avoiders. With practice kids can build up their chewing skills and strength to be able to eat and enjoy tougher textured meats but in the meantime mince meals, meatballs, nuggets, tender lamb cutlets and sausages are often well accepted.
- Meatballs: Beef, quinoa & mushroom
- Bolognese: Spaghetti bolognese for kids
- Pasta muffins: Leftover spaghetti bolognese pasta muffins
- Lasagne: Beef, veggie and ricotta lasagne
- Stir fry: Beef and noodle stir fry
Some kids love big bold flavours and spices but generally little kids aren’t very accepting of them. My 5 year old is very wary of spices but 3 year old is a sensation seeker so doesn’t mind a chilli hit. Introducing mild spices such as cumin, paprika and coriander early in their starting solids journey or introducing the flavours slowly and regularly kids will become more accepting of spices.
- Puree: Pear & cinnamon
- Textured baby/toddler meal: Red lentil, pumpkin, broccoli & pea dahl
- Soup: Carrot, red lentil and ginger soup
- Family meal: Chilli or not con carne
- Family meal: Pork & fennel meatballs