Tweens don't recognize common fruits and veggies

Filed under: Teens, Nutrition: Health

Kids aren't always known for their adventurous eating habits, but when 200 11-year-olds were quizzed on the knowledge of basic vegetables in the UK, they had trouble identifying them. In fact:
  • 20% didn't know what a potato looked like
  • 5.5% couldn't name a carrot
  • 33% of boys didn't recognize a cucumber, though 90% of girls did.
  • One-third of kids didn't know what celery was.
Less concerning was their lack of experience with more exotic fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, turnips, eggplants, and artichokes. So why aren't tweens more familiar with these common foods? The study didn't go that far, but the findings suggest that they either aren't eating them, or at least aren't helping with shopping and cooking.

A friend and I just talked last week about teaching kids lifeskills. Her nephew went off to college unable to boil a pot of water for macaroni and cheese. Kids can help out in the kitchen at any age, of course, but the tween years are an especially important time to teach kids some cooking basics, especially how to create a meal out of simple, fresh ingredients.

Diet-Blog recommends introducing a new fruit or vegetable every week, but don't just let it appear on their dinner plate. Instead, involve kids from start to finish -- picking out foods at the store, preparing and serving them, and then enjoying them as a family. Another fun project for smaller kids is using the alphabet to try new foods. Create an ABC chart on poster board, then let little ones draw a picture of each food as they try them. (A is for apple, for instance, P is for pomegranate, and so on.)

How do you involve your kids in the kitchen?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.