Why My Daughter Ate Her Raw Fruits and Vegetables Willingly

I'll keep this one short and simple like it should be. Many parents would observe getting their young children to eat vegetables - or even fruits - can be a daily challenge. Adults are taught that these food form a crucial part of a balanced diet. However to young children, only one thing matters when it comes to eating food - whether they find it delicious or not.

Over the years, I found that types of food form packets of memories in our mind. If we had a bad experience with a certain type of food, it is unlikely we will give it another go in future where easier choices are available. Personally, I hated yucky vegetables such as Egg Plant or Ladies' Fingers. Those people who love these food would cluck their tongue when they heard my distaste and go, "Tsk tsk tsk, these are reaaaal delicious if you cook them in chilli/curry/whatever." But my mind seems permanently shut from any new possibilities. Years later, I was invited to dinner and served Pumpkin Soup by my sister-in-law. Pumpkin was another yucky food I would never take but that wasn't an occasion to play punk so I took a sip. It tasted amazing, I finished it all and even asked for the recipe. Another example was my wife, Jen, who hated the taste and smell of dried shrimps. Yet when she was offered a good bowl of Laksa, she would gladly tuck in without knowing dried shrimp is a key ingredient of the delicacy until I told her years later.

These experiences convinced me that there is no ingredient that a child wouldn't eat - if it is prepared right. But that isn't the topic for today. What I want to share is an observation that a child a can motivated to eat what he or she will normally not eat.

My daughter has reached the stage where she has preferences and know how to TELL me about it. Though in general Albany eats really well, she will reject certain type of food like any child when she is in the mood. I would never allow myself to be locked in with a fact she hates certain food. On another day, cooked in a better way, she eats the ingredient she "hated." Lately, I encountered an interesting incident. For a while, Albany refused to eat tomatoes, even well cooked delicious versions. Yet on one particular afternoon, I found her munching on one RAW cherry tomato after another. She couldn't be stopped and even hesitated to share. 

Why? Because she harvested them herself in Uncle Patrick's backyard. Was it motivation, pride or novelty? I do not know. Based on that observation, Jen got Albany to help her out in preparing meals recently. One of the tasks was to nip the ends of a bean sprout. Seems fun and easy enough. True enough, little Albany sat by the table and assisted her mother in snapping bean sprouts. That night, Albany ate bean sprouts for the first time in her life and said it was "yummy". Along with the tomato harvesting incident, that convinced me getting a child involved in food preparation can possibly motivate them to eat what they normally don't.

If you have a similar issue with your child and haven't tried this yet, why don't you give it a go?


  1. Nix,

    Are you or your wife a Hakka? I observed your daughter facial features.

    1. wah can tell ethics from face? u damn imba! care to share how so?

  2. "Along with the tomato harvesting incident, that convinced me getting a child involved in food preparation can possibly motivate them to eat what they normally don't."

    I have heard similar stories on the radio. If you can get your child involved in growing food from planting the seeds, to watering, to harvesting the child will eat the food grown by themself.