Getting Kids to Eat Veggies
Do you have kids who are picky eaters? Want them to eat a healthier, higher vegetable content diet? Here are some simple suggestions to help your kids, and you, to eat more vegetables.
For brand new parents, make sure that even as babies, your kids see you eating vegetables. They will copy you. When they get to eating semi-solids, don’t force foods on them. Provide them with fresh rather than pre-processed vegetables. A little prep time on your part can save a lot of refusals.
As toddlers, when kids are starting to explore new flavors and textures more independently, make sure to offer fruits and veggies rather than sweets. Sliced apples and sweet baby carrots are more likely to get a child’s attention in a healthy manner than cookies or candy.
Ask your kids to taste new dishes. Teach them not to fear tasting new things. If they don’t like it, that’s okay; don’t force them to eat it. If they do like it, make it more often. This experiment will give you a better idea of what their palate is telling them is tasty.
Trouble with broccoli or cauliflower? Add cheese! Try some of the odd color variations such as golden or purple cauliflower, and yellow broccoli. If your child is into horror movies, make him or her the monster — broccoli as trees and cauliflower as brains. Add melted cheese or even ketchup to make things more gross and appealing. Make a game of it.
Radishes and other vegetables which can be thinly sliced, can also be cut with cookie cutters. Cutting the slices into shapes may appeal to your child and get them to broaden their horizons even further.
Offer baby carrots, celery sticks and other cut veggies with a ranch or garden dip as a snack instead of chips or candy. Make it colorful and be sure to take a bite with them.
Let your kids help pick out the produce you plan to prepare for meals. This gives the child a sense of accomplishment that may translate into a desire to eat what they have chosen. If they are old enough, let them help with the preparation and cooking. Peeling potatoes, husking corn, and veining celery can all be turned into fun activities with parental supervision.
Making food fun is a good way not only to get your kids to eat things they might not otherwise, it can also be a great bonding experience for the family. Make your kitchen a more interesting place to play with your food. Reap the benefits of a healthier, happier family.