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Does your child eat pulses?

Healthy tips
Pulses are an incredibly valuable product in kids' diet: low glycemic index, low fat content, rich vitamin and mineral composition, as well as protein, which is twice as much as in many cereals. An affordable and nutritious product, pulses are an essential tool to achieve #ZeroHunger.

Besides pulses are super versatile. They can be served as a main course, a side dish, a snack (hummus) or salad. But if your child’s acquaintance with pulses is just beginning, it is sometimes difficult to convince them to try healthy beans, peas or lentils.

Perhaps these tips will help you tell your child that pulses are awesome!

Start with your favorite dish
Children are more likely to try food that seems familiar to them. For example, hummus is a popular chickpea dish. Many children like it. But hummus can be made not only from chickpeas, but replaced with lentils or beans. Diversify the dish with new flavors that the child may like: red bell peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. Serve the renewed dish as a spread on toast or pita bread, like a sauce with vegetables chopsticks. 

Children also love burgers and meatballs. Replace the meat in the composition with lentils, beans or a mixture of both types of pulses.

Change the texture of the dish
Many children do not like the soft, mashed texture of cooked pulses. This can be avoided if cooked from dried beans instead of canned ones. Dried beans should be soaked overnight in water before cooking.

Add some practice
Tell your child where the food comes from. In our case, pulses. Together you can read a book how pulses grow. Or if possible, plant pulses in the courtyard of your house, in the garden. If you captivate the child with the process, he will taste the result of his work with great pleasure.

Involving children in cooking will also help inspire them to try dishes that they helped create themselves. Go to the market together and let the child choose the foods themselves: pulses, fruits, vegetables, which they want to eat. 

When return home, ask your child to help with cooking, you can start by immersing the beans in a bowl of water to soak.

Offer to play
Beans, peas, lentils are easy to arrange on a plate in the form of fancy patterns. Place the beans in the shape of different faces or geometric shapes. Invite the children to dream up and make their own bean patterns on a plate. A visually appealing dish is much more likely to be eaten.

Update familiar dishes
Cooked lentils, beans, peas can easily be wiped and added to soup, stew or homemade sauce. These ingredients will not only add depth and taste to the dish, but also make them more nutritious. 

Leave a place for dessert
There are desserts that include beans. They give the baking a mild flavor and richness. You can easily add beans to your own desserts by making, for example, a sweet bean paste made from mashed red beans and brown sugar. Cooked black beans can replace eggs in many recipes for chocolate cakes and brownies.

Adapted from Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO