Top 10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables
Kids can be such picky eaters, especially when it comes to vegetables. My mom once had my niece over to stay for a couple of days; my aunt added: “She doesn’t like cheese, nor tomatoes!”. Odd thing though, when my mom made a grilled cheese sandwich (with tomatoes!), she indulged wholeheartedly! My aunts response?! “Hey, if I’d made such an effort, sure she would have eaten it..” So yeah, one of the most basic tips is: Make the effort! Get kids involved and make it fun!
Here are 10 ways to get kids to eat more veggies:
1) Start early (breast feeding helps too!) and be a good model!
2) Make sure vegetables are available, within reach and ready to eat. My best friend always puts cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers or sliced carrots on the table and those bowls are cleaned out in no time! It is crunchy and has plenty of sweet flavour.
3) Eat together at the dinner table. One time when asked to give expert advice, observing the household go about their normal daily routine: the daughter sat at the dinner table not touching her sandwich, whilst mom was in the living room ..eating cake and watching television.
4) Let kids join in when making breakfast/lunch/diner; Safety first though! And preparation starts with getting the ingredients, preferably from an own garden (helping with growing them is a great bonus too!) or at the local store.
5) Encourage your child to try at least a spoonful of a food he/she isn’t familiar with yet. It takes a minimum of 8-10x to even get familiar with a new taste or texture.
6) Reward initiative and curiosity. Smelling, touching, feeling also is a part of that! Each child is different of course.
7) Watch preferance. Some kids prefer raw foods to cooked (or the other way around); that is fine: they are eating what is healthy for them!
8) Nutrition has little value from a child’s perspective: they are brimming with energy and vitality! Mentioning better growth and enhancing ones skills will definitely hit the spot!
9) Imagination. Adults eat a meal; a kid loves to play with food: they are interested in colour, texture, the way it is displayed. So adding cookie cutters as a means to enhance vegetables or sandwiches is a good way to be creative!
10) As a desperate measure, we can always ‘hide’ vegetables, using a blender for soups, muffins, sauces, etc. But openness is an honest way that works far better in the long run!
These ideas are great too!