My son does not like raw tomatoes by themselves, but he eats them when they are mixed with other ingredients, especially when the tomatoes are cooked. Tomatoes are best eaten cooked in order to benefit from the lycopene as the bioavailability of lycopene is greater in cooked tomatoes than in raw tomatoes. Lycopene found in tomatoes is beneficial to prostate health. Not that my son worries about this right now. Although teaching him how to take care of his prostate early on will be useful to him later on in life. And possibly his prostate will thank me later.
I offered my son raw tomatoes many times. Sometimes he eats five cherry tomatoes, other times only half of a cherry tomato. Sometimes none. However, he enjoys tomatoes (or better said/more accurately said he does not notice/mind them) in soups, stews, other one pot meals, and in salads. In salads the tomatoes have to be chopped small enough so that when he looks at them he does not mind their size. He casually mentions that there are tomatoes in his meal when they are big enough to be seen at a quick glance. Otherwise he just eats them without any additional comments. My daughter, on the other side, eats raw tomatoes like there is no tomorrow 🙂 . Breakfast, lunch, supper, snack… there is no wrong time to eat them.
My son eats this pasta salad anytime I make it, even if it has raw tomatoes. When he was little, he would eat it with feta. But since he can’t have dairy anymore, I swap feta with chickpeas and he still gladly eats it. The salad with feta is shown above in the photo.
This salad is rich in:
- Vitamins (especially A, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, folate) and fiber from green pepper
- Vitamin A, B3, B6, C, E, K, biotin, folate, copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber from tomatoes
- Copper, iron, fiber, vitamin E, healthy fats from olives
- Proteins from feta cheese
- Vitamin E and healthy fats from olive oil
- Trace minerals from sea salt
- Manganese, vitamin K, copper, and fiber from black pepper
- 1 lb (454 g) small pasta (elbow, rotini, etc.)
- 2 small green peppers or 1 big one, cubed (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 big tomato, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 250 ml jar of pitted black olives, each olive cut in quarters (approximately 1 cup)
- 200 g feta cheese cubed – optional (feta can be replaced with 1 cup chickpeas)
- ½ cup olive oil
- Sea salt – to taste
- Black pepper – to taste
- Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain.
- In a big bowl mix all the ingredients gently. Season with sea salt and black pepper if needed.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The salad is best served cold.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to 3 days.
Does your child enjoy eating raw tomatoes?
Source of nutritional information: