Are you looking for veggie options for a picky eater? Or are you the one who wants improved health but cannot stand the taste of most vegetables? We’ve compiled three strategies to help you incorporate more veggie options into the diet of a vegetable hater.
Understand Your Sensory Aversions
Everyone has sensory aversions to some degree. Some cooking methods can create textures many individuals find distasteful, and the relatively common dislike of vegetables’ often-bitter taste is rooted in our nature. It is normal, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be changed or worked around.
If it is the texture or aroma you find offensive, try preparing those vegetables differently. You can change the flavor of vegetables by pairing them with other vegetables, preparing them differently, or using spices.
Familiarity Builds Comfort
Alkaloids are behind the bitter flavor in many vegetables. Some alkaloids are poisonous, while others are beneficial, but nature defaulted to a “better safe than sorry” approach and gave humanity an instinctive dislike of bitter flavors. Early and consistent exposure to vegetables reduces this aversion and builds enjoyment.
The realities of modern food economics mean many of us never developed this comfort of familiarity because we didn’t grow up with the actual taste of vegetables. You can build this familiarity for yourself as an adult. Unfortunately, this requires forcing yourself to endure the 15 to 20 exposures usually needed, but it is doable.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Today’s food market gives us more options than we’ve ever had before, so take advantage and try a broad range of vegetables from around the globe. Take up a new hobby, and invest in growing heirloom vegetables, many of which are much more flavorful than their conventional counterparts. Try new ways of cooking vegetables.
When it comes to training your child or yourself to love veggies, creativity and a willingness to experiment are key. Keep experimenting, and you will soon build a plethora of veggie options you and your family love.