Kids are notorious for being picky eaters. In many cases, kids only eat a few foods and getting them to try anything new can lead to meltdowns and tantrums. If you are trying to get your kids to eat more fermented foods for their all gut health benefits, especially for the benefits they offer to children with SPD or autism, then you may be wondering how you are going to pull this off. Serving them a generous helping of Kimchi might not be the best place to start. Here are some tips for encouraging kids to eat fermented foods, even if they don’t know they are.
Add to Other Foods
One of the easiest ways to add fermented foods to your kids diet, or encourage them to eat fermented foods, is to add them to sandwiches. Pickles are the best and quickest step to achieving this. Pickles are on most sandwiches and kids tend to eat them without much question. You can move from having them added to just sandwiches by allowing your kids to eat them whenever they want. In fact, some parents have found that getting dill pickles and letting their kids eat them as a snack, works fairly well. If your kids like pickles then you should go a step beyond with other firm, fermented crunchies by fermenting apples, carrots, cucumbers, jicama, or radishes. I also like adding sauerkraut to mashed potatoes or adding fermented ketchup to burgers. It helps disguise the ferments.
Give them Fermented Drinks
Kids love to try fizzy, juice based drinks especially if they see a parent drinking them or if they think the drink is a soda of some sort. So, reach for kombucha drinks and try them out first. Some are very tart and not a favorite for kids, others are sweeter and just right. They come in many different flavors, so try to find a flavor your kids really like. For example, if they love blueberries then reach for a blueberry flavored kombucha. Coconut water kefir is also tasty for kids and easy to make. If they don’t like these options straight up, try adding them to a fruit smoothie.
Have them Make It
One of the easiest fermented foods you can make is yogurt. There are machines for this, but you can also make yogurt in the crockpot or instant pot. You can have your children help as a science project, learning experience, and to get them excited about the final product. They can add their own flavors and make the yogurt their own personal brand. This helps kids want to eat more fermented foods in the form of yogurt, and gets them excited about trying new flavors.
By using these tips, you can help your kids get the fermented foods they need in their diet. You can also introduce the tastes and flavors they may start requesting, which means you can get even more fermented foods into their diets.