If your kids are vegetable haters, you might find yourself playing hide-and-seek when mealtime comes. But as your kids grow older and wiser, it might be time to stop hiding the vegetables and start teaching your kids to enjoy healthy, and few nutritious foods as they are. There are few excruciating ways to teach your kids to like all the vegetables than forcing them to sit at the table for hours, staring at an untouched plate of broccoli.
Here are few tips to get your kids to eat veggies.
Don’t teach your kids that veggies as the enemy
Kids generally hear a lot of negative messages about healthy eating. When we say few things like you have to eat your Brussels sprouts before you get any dessert, we are sending a message that vegetables are something to be tolerated, not enjoyed. Let your kids know that all the food groups are served as fuel for the body and that nutrition that is present in food plays a big role in growing up healthy and also strong.
Put the power of nutrition in the kids’ hands
Few researchers studied that children between the age groups of 4 – 12 found that when kids got to choose which fruits and few vegetables to eat, they were more likely to consume a healthy amount of vegetables without any complaint.
Grow your own
Kids love this if you can, start a small garden and let the kids become their own farmers. They will have a ball watching their veggies grow and then eating them will give great and amazing experience for your kids.
Stick to vegetables with crunch
By giving your children carrots and french beans which are prepared in six different ways, and you will find that most of the kids overwhelm preferred “crispy, crunchy, and juicy” veggies over “mushy, squishy, and slimy. So, give your kids crunchy vegetables mostly.
Do as you say
The best way for adults to encourage vegetable consumption among their children is to be good role model. If you eat them and enjoy them your kids will follow your lead.
Sneak it in
When all else fails, sneak it in! There are countless books that encourage parents to cook with vegetable purees. The premise is simple and generally more effective puree or minces mild tasting vegetables to be mixed into traditional sauces, casseroles, baked goods and more. Kids may not be aware that their taste buds are experiencing new flavors this way, but over time it may help to adapt their palette so that they are less adverse to eat whole versions of the green vegetables.
Make Food Fun
Kids are drawn to color and fun shapes! Now, before you start carving the cauliflower into Frozen, try out simpler ideas like spiral carrots, vegetable kebab sticks or funny faces made with sliced veggies. Generally, younger kids love to show independence, so try offering veggies sticks that they can dip into hummus or even mashed potato.
Ask other caregivers to help
Just discuss your preferences and expectations for the vegetable consumption with caregivers at your child’s daycare or school. If you pack lunch for your children, encourage them to eat well when you are not there to supervise.
Get Them Involved
Nurture healthy food relationships by involving kids with their food. Let them help you in the kitchen, plan yummy meals, grow a vegetable garden or take them shopping to pick vegetables to match the color of the rainbow.
Kids generally don’t always take to new foods and flavors right away; it may take up to twenty to thirty times before a child can truly distinguish whether or not he likes a food. Consistently offer your child a few vegetables on their plate, and as they become accustomed to seeing them, they may be more inclined to take that first taste. It may seem like it’s not doing any good, but stick with it!
Don’t give up
As with so many aspects of parenting, persistence and also consistency are critical to the success of your veggie game plan. It can take 10 or more exposures to a single vegetable before a kid becomes accustomed to a particular taste.
So there you have it. These are few awesome tips that will usually work. Of course, you always get the stubborn ones which will put their feet on the ground and absolutely refuse, regardless of what you do. That’s okay! Your kids will soon grow out of it, especially if you reinforce eating properly by doing so yourself. Make sure you set a good example to your kids! Eat healthily, and they will too.