Home » Food Corner » Naughty Sugar, Taste Buds & Fun with Food #NoJunkJourney

Naughty Sugar, Taste Buds & Fun with Food #NoJunkJourney

My children go from ‘best eaters’ to ‘fussiest children ever’ in the blink of an eye… Does that sound familiar? Children go through phases, their taste buds are constantly evolving. One day, they might love something and the next, they’ll refuse to touch it. Some tastes like garlic, ginger, Brussel sprouts of kale, will only be enjoyed after being eaten a few times, so it’s worth persevering until they become acquired tastes. If you make it into a bit of a game to try ‘just one mouthful’ and generally show them they can have fun with food, children are more likely to develop a palate for a huge variety of tastes and flavours.

Nothing is set in stone when it comes to food preferences and you can train your taste buds to enjoy different flavours. You just have to be open-minded about it and try things a few times before you put them in Room 101. It might take six, seven or even ten exposures to the disliked food before you start enjoying it, but it’s important to persevere.

As children grow older, they also learn about healthy and unhealthy food, and that will also influence their choices. Three of my children (5, 7 and 9) have learnt a bit about sugar at school and here is what they answered when I asked them, “Why is sugar bad for you?”

  • Sugar is very naughty!
  • It’s bad for your teeth.
  • Sugar has no vitamins.
  • It’s not so bad if you exercise a lot.
  • If you eat too much sugar, all the fat can build up inside you.
  • It can cause illnesses like cancer or diabetes.
  • It’s OK to eat lots of fruit though because fruit contains a natural sugar called fructose.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things. My little man loves taking photos of food and being creative in the kitchen is key in my opinion!

The NHS recently launched a new Change4Life campaign to help families cut back on sugar, make and healthier choices when it comes to snacks. Did you know that children in England had nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar, half of which comes from unhealthy snacks and sweet drinks?

Crevette (9) and Beanie (7) love the Food Scanner app which tells you how much sugar, saturated fat and salt are in your food and drinks. It also gives you the thumbs up (green labels) when you scan healthy items. You can download it in the App Store or Google Play.

Here are some tips to avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar. Hopefully, the 10 fun tips below will help encourage children to try new things.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things. Have you tried biscuit scrabble?

Fun with Food Tips and Ideas:

1- Forage or go to a ‘Pick Your Own’ fruit and veg farm.

2- Use small cutters to make shapes out of fruit or vegetables. I buy ours from my friend Grace’s Eats Amazing shop.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things.

3- Let your children be in charge of getting their own snacks or lunchboxes (find ours here) ready.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things. My little man loves packing his own lunchbox. It gives him ownership and complete control over what he's having.

4- Get into the habit of cooking simple meals with them on a regular basis (soup, quiche…).

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things.

5- Let them do the grating (cheese, carrot, etc.) or chopping.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things, like wearing swimming goggles when chopping onions

6- Teach them how to safely peel vegetables and make it their job.

7- Let them try the food as they’re cooking!

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things.

8- Let them experiment with food, be creative. Why not let me add google eyes to their fruit or snacks? If you have a bit of pastry left over after making a quiche or tart, let them use the offcuts to make their own snacks.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things.

9- Make fruit or veg kebabs.

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check our 10 fun tips that will help encourage children to try new things like fruit kebabs, wrap sandwiches or a new dip.

10- Be their role model! If you show them you’re always enthusiastic about trying new things and you have a balanced diet yourself, they’re highly likely to copy you!

How can you avoid raising children who crave nothing but sugar? Check fun tips by Organix to help encourage toddlers to try new things.

Disclosure: I work with Organix as a No Junk Mum. This post all about having fun with food is part of our #NoJunkJourney. All opinions and photos are my own. 

12 Comments

  1. Danielle (Someone's Mum)
    18/01/2018 / 2:05 pm

    It looks like they are having so much fun! Some great tips here. It is a real struggle to stop mine asking for sweet things all the time as they both have a really sweet tooth. So important to teach them how and why to choose healthier foods 🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      18/01/2018 / 3:14 pm

      Mine are the same but luckily they love fruit. I always make sure I offer them a healthy snack first, then it’s less likely they’ll be tempted to devour a whole pack of biscuits!

  2. 18/01/2018 / 3:07 pm

    Great tips! It really does help to let the kids be involved as much as possible with making their food, mine are always much more enthusiastic to eat something if they’ve had a hand in making it!

    • Mel
      Author
      18/01/2018 / 3:12 pm

      Exactly the same here. If I’m planning to cook something a bit more ‘adventurous’ than usual, I’ll always get one of the girls to help (they’re way more fussy than their brother) so at least I know they’ll try it.

  3. 18/01/2018 / 4:16 pm

    Lol, loving the goggles onion chopping. That’s what N says he has to wear too.

    • Mel
      Author
      18/01/2018 / 6:54 pm

      Children are funny, aren’t they?

  4. 22/01/2018 / 10:48 am

    Lovely photos! I really like the questions you asked your children. I’m always conscious of trying not to just say ‘sugar is bad’, but to help my children better understand WHY certain foods are better in moderation.

    • Mel
      Author
      22/01/2018 / 11:40 am

      I couldn’t agree more! The more they understand, the more likely they’ll make the right choices. x

  5. 24/01/2018 / 8:11 pm

    Great piece Mel and fab tips as always! I think most people struggle in some way or other with food with at least one of their children !

    • Mel
      Author
      25/01/2018 / 10:54 pm

      Completely! It’s not always easy to believe it though, isn’t it? When you see all those perfect Instagram feeds, it looks like everyone’s children but yours are the best eaters in the world!

  6. 29/01/2018 / 10:52 pm

    It’s so important to involve your children with prepping and managing their food. Miss GF swings from being ultra nutrition-aware to having sugar overload days. Interestingly, she still chooses Organix carrot sticks over other crisps even though she’s 12 on account of their being more healthy!
    Love the photos x

    • Mel
      Author
      31/01/2018 / 10:41 pm

      I bought those sticks last week for Beanie who’s been asking for them for ages: it’s still one of her favourite treats and she’s 7 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.