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15 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

15 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

After a busy day, you want to serve a tasty meal you know the whole family will enjoy. But you also want to make sure your kids are getting their recommended three to five portions of veggies. Problem is, as every parent knows, convincing your kids to eat their veggies isn’t always easy.

Well, here are 15 simple ways to turn even the most stubborn veggie refuser into a veggie lover.

1. Make it fun

Okay, you’re tired and hungry so I’m not about to suggest you recreate the cast of Frozen using vegetable shapes. But presenting food in a fun pattern or smiley face takes seconds and delights little ones. After all, who could resist eating a carrot nose or a smile made from peas?

2. Help yourself

Often when kids refuse to eat something, it’s simply because they want to feel in control. So give them the power to choose at mealtimes by presenting veggiess in serving bowls and let the kids help themselves. They may surprise you!

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3. Let’s get cooking

When kids have helped prepare a meal, they are more likely to enjoy eating it.  My toddler loves cutting mushrooms and tomatoes with her special safety knife. Mixing, stirring, serving; it’s all fun for kids.

4. Earn a star

Okay, not everyone agrees rewards for eating vegs are a good idea. After all, eating healthily shouldn’t be seen as a chore to be endured. But for some kids, earning a star for trying a new food or for eating three different types of veggies each day can be a big motivator.

5. Hit the shops

Let your kids help with the shopping. They will love learning about the different fruits and veggies available and you can let them choose a new ingredient every time. They’ll then be eager to try the produce when you get home.

6. What would Iron Man do?

When I was a child, my parents told me to eat my greens so I would “grow up strong like Popeye”. Now, it doesn’t really matter who your kid’s favorite character, celebrity or sportsperson is; the idea is still the same. Tell your kids their superheroes eat their veggies and they’ll be eager to do the same.

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7. Choosing is fun

Dig out your favorite recipe books, or take a look online and let your kids choose recipes themselves. Again, it’s all about letting them feel in control. They are more likely to eat a dish if they’ve helped to choose it.

8. Eat the rainbow

The great thing about veggies is they really are interesting. Talk to your kids about the different shapes, colors and textures and encourage them to eat as many different colored foods as they can. You could even create a chart so they can tick off the different colors they’ve eaten each day.

9. Grow your own

A great way to get kids excited about vegs, is to let them grow their own. Even if you only have space for a couple of pots or a window box, kids can grow carrots, salad leaves, tomatoes and more.

10. Invite a friend to dinner

Isn’t it strange how kids’ behavior changes when they’re with their friends? You can use this to your advantage. If your kids have a friend who loves to eat veggies; try borrowing them for the evening.

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11. Grow up strong

Often we tell kids to eat their veggies but forget to tell them why. Rather than simply saying “because they are good for you”, teach kids about the different vitamins found in various ingredients so they can understand how vegetables keep us fit and healthy.

12. Novel names

Whether it’s Percy peas or cucumber spears, kids love giving silly names to ingredients. Fun names also make vegetables seem less daunting for kids.

13. Make it interesting

If your kids find veggies boring, try serving them in different ways to make it more interesting. For example, carrot sticks can be served upright in a beaker rather than flat on a plate. A plate with different sections is also a great way to bring interest to mealtimes and can help kids feel less overwhelmed than by seeing a mound of veg on a traditional plate.

14. Mix it up

If there’s a vegetable your child claims not to like, try preparing it in a different way. For example, if they don’t like boiled carrots, you may find they love grated carrots. Don’t like cooked mushrooms? Try eating them raw instead.

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15. Don’t make a fuss

Don’t turn mealtimes into a battleground; if your child really doesn’t want to eat something, don’t force them. If they sense that food gives them power, they will continue to refuse to eat certain things.

It’s not always easy, but take a relaxed approach and remember; you can always try again tomorrow.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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