We all know how important it is to eat plenty of vegetables. They’re full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which are vital for good health. But convincing kids to eat their veg can be quite a challenge. Here are some strategies you can use to make things easier.
Be a good example
If you barely touch your own vegetables, your kids will be unimpressed when you order them to eat theirs. Make sure they see you eating and enjoying vegetables.
The language you use to talk about vegetables is important. If you tell your kids they can’t have dessert until they eat their broccoli, it makes eating veg sound like a chore. Try to get them excited about vegetables as well as dessert. Encourage them to notice the attractive colors of the vegetables and appreciate their flavors and textures. Carrots, for instance, are bright orange, taste sweet and have a nice crunchy texture.
Make it fun
Again, language matters, so be imaginative when you talk about vegetables. For example, referring to broccoli florets as ‘tiny treetops’ can make kids more inclined to eat them.
Make a game out of trying new vegetables. Take your kids shopping and let them pick out the veggies they want. If your child completely refuses to eat certain vegetables, make an effort to find some that he or she prefers.
Article continues below...
Get your kids involved
As well as taking them shopping, get your kids involved in the preparation of meals. Let them wash and chop the vegetables if they’re old enough. That way, they’ll feel more invested in the meal and will probably be more prepared to eat it.
If you have the space and time, you could take it a step further and grow your own veggies. Kids love helping to plant, water and harvest vegetables. And they’ll be far more interested in eating produce they’ve grown themselves.
Serve vegetables creatively
A lump of boiled greens can be unappetizing, so try adding vegetables into sauces instead. You can also experiment with other ways of cooking them, like roasting and frying. Give your kids vegetable sticks as snacks, along with a tasty dip like hummus. Make vegetables the star attraction of your meals instead of using them as boring sides. Try new recipes like stuffed peppers, vegetable lasagna, and ratatouille. It may help if you cut vegetables into small pieces to make them easier for kids to eat.
You can also try blending up one part leafy greens to two parts fruit to make a green smoothie. Don’t rely too much on this, though — it’s important that your children enjoy eating whole vegetables too.
If you implement these tips, your kids will be well on their way to enjoying vegetables. Remember to be patient, as change probably won’t happen overnight. Good luck!