Most of us are familiar with the battle to get kids to eat their greens.
Sometimes, no amount of persuasion or extravagant story-telling can get children to eat vegetables. However, if you’re having trouble getting your children to entertain the idea of eating fruits and veggies, here are some tips and tricks to encourage your kids to eat their greens.
Get kids involved in the process.
Make sure the kids play a part in every part of the process, including:
- Shopping for or selecting the fruits and vegetables,
- Putting the produce away at home,
- Cleaning and preparing them for meals, and
- Putting together their own creations with those lovely, fresh ingredients.
Ideally, it would be wonderful to have your kids help with growing vegetables, but in today’s world, the opportunities for this are few.
Make sure your kids contribute in the kitchen.
Cooking with children can be stressful but it can also be fun.
If kids are involved in the preparation work, they may also be more likely to show an interest in the finished product.
Smoothies are a really good starter for young culinary novices.
Chop up some fruit and vegetables and let your children put them in the blender. When the lid is secured, let them press the buttons, but keep an eye (or two) on them. Talk to them about the different vitamins and minerals you can find in the ingredients and explain how they benefit you.
Experiment with flavors and colors and let your kids choose the fruits they want to use. You could make ‘smoothie making’ a weekend breakfast time tradition.
At dinner time, let the kids make simple salads with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and numerous other options. As they get older, they can start to expand their repertoire.
Make an effort with aesthetics.
Even adults can be put off by foods that don’t look all that appealing.
If you’ve had problems with children turning their noses up at their dinner recently, try to make it look more attractive – better yet, encourage them to make it more attractive.
Use your creativity and inspiration from the internet to create fun shapes and designs.
- Turn celery sticks into stick men and kiwis into turtles.
- Make a garden with broccoli trees and carrot flowers.
- Inject some food dye to make mashed potatoes pink.
With a little imagination and a few vegetable accessories, you can make snacks and meals look incredible.
Master the art of disguise.
If your child refuses point blank, it’s time to go undercover.
If they love pasta and sauce, you can add a whole load of vegetables without them realizing it. Chop up garlic, onions, mushrooms and celery into very small pieces and add them to your tomato base. When everything is cooked through, blend your sauce to get rid of any lumps, which may raise suspicions.
If your child enjoys a bowl of soup, the same rules apply. Add potatoes, squash and onions to increase their vegetable intake.
Teach your kids a lesson.
It’s all very well telling kids that diet is important, but they’re more likely to take an interest in food if you explain why.
Talk to your children about the benefits of healthy eating.
When children are still very young, they will respond well to examples. Use childhood memories as examples, including Popeye eating spinach to give him muscles, and carrots helping you to see in the dark.
Trying to encourage children to adopt healthy eating habits can be a long and arduous road. However, there are some tricks out there, which may help.
Try to be creative and encourage your children to take an interest in cooking and eating from an early age. Explain to them why diet is important and introduce them to a wide range of types, flavors and colors.