It is widely known that vegetables are good for you. Unfortunately, most kids are having difficulty appreciating and accepting this truth. Many parents feel frustrated about making their kids eat veggies every day. Below are 15 practical tips to get your kids to eat vegetables:
1. Lead by example
A child will do what the parents do. Your eating pattern is the best predictor of your child’s eating behavior.
2. Involve them
Kids become more interested in their meals when they help prepare them.
3. Incorporate fun in foods
Kids love make-believe games. You can relate healthy foods to the things your child finds fun. Your child can pretend to be a dinosaur that eats plants.
4. Do not force them to finish
Parents should never force their child to finish a food she does not like. Negative food experiences will bring out their picky-eating tendencies. One bite may be enough for a start.
5. Present food in patterns
Kids love it when their food is presented in patterns. You can shape the vegetables into something that they like, such as smiley face or a bear.
6. Explain the benefits
It is important to tell kids why vegetables are important and how they will benefit from them. Most children want to be stronger and bigger, so you can relate them to eating veggies.
7. Reward them
Punishments and restrictions promote negative food experiences. Reward your child for trying one bite of a vegetable with non-food items like games or toys.
8. Keep vegetable snacks at hand
You should have a bowl of vegetables snacks at hand, like baby carrots or cherry tomatoes, in the refrigerator. However, you will want to consider the potential choking hazards of these foods for smaller kids, so take caution.
9. Mash sweet potatoes, instead of white
Serve mashed sweet potatoes, instead of white. Sweet potatoes contain loads of vitamin A that is good for the eyes, skin, and immune system, among others.
10. Include veggies in their favorite foods
If your child likes pizza, then you can introduce yummy vegetable toppings.
11. Make veggie smoothies and ice blocks
Try making vegetable smoothies and ice blocks to add fun to their foods. You can mix them with fruits or yogurt for better taste.
12. Serve veggies with dip
Serve raw vegetables with a healthy dip. Avoid mayo-based or sour cream dips.
13. Make their plate colorful
Kids like colourful items, including foods. Add more veggies to their plates to add color.
15. Use bacon, butter, and garlic
Make your veggies more flavorful by adding bacon, garlic, and/or butter for more appeal.
15. Be patient
Some kids will need more time to become interested in vegetables. Be patient, and lead by example.