Food

Creative Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Getting your children to eat their vegetables voluntarily can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have a picky eater. Most kids don’t want vegetables in their healthiest forms, such as raw or steamed, so you’ll have to get creative when including veggies in your children’s meals. Keep these helpful tips in mind to ensure that your little ones are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Cook With Your Kids

Your children are more likely to try a vegetable they prepared. For instance, if you want to introduce spinach to your little one, pour the spinach leaves into a bowl and let your child season the veggies before you put the spinach in a sautee pan. When your kids participate in the food preparation process, it gives them a sense of independence and ownership. When your little ones don’t feel forced to eat vegetables, they will likely try these new foods on their own. This way, you’ll know which veggies your child actually doesn’t like, and which ones he simply won’t touch if he feels coerced.

Hide the Veggies

Update some of your child’s favorite recipes to include the goodness of vegetables. You’ll likely have to do this in a way that your child won’t notice. For instance, if your toddler loves macaroni and cheese, add ground cauliflower into the cheese sauce to add more fiber and iron to the meal. If your child is a fan of pizza, puree broccoli and sweet potatoes and add these vegetables to the pizza sauce for more vitamin A and protein. Even if your child doesn’t prefer the taste of these vegetables, he/she will still get the nutritional benefits of these healthy foods without a dinner table battle.

Reward Adventurous Eating

When your child is willing to try a new food or vegetable, reward her sense of adventure. It’s best not to give another food as a reward, but a prize like additional playtime, a clothing item or toy could be suitable. You don’t want to send the message to your little one that she’ll get a bowl of ice cream each time she eats her carrots, but you do want to show her that it’s OK to try new things. This lesson in food may also serve your child well in the long run.

Be an Example

If your children see you eating a healthy, balanced diet, they are likely to do the same. This not only works for toddlers and small children, but for adolescents and teens as well. Even though your older children may never admit it, they can be inspired by your healthy food choices if you remain consistent.

It also helps if you are adventurous with your diet. When you’re out for family dinner, try a new vegetable and encourage your children to eat a little from your plate. Do a little research on certain vegetables, so when you bring the foods home you can explain exactly how the vegetables will benefit the body.

Using these suggestions on a regular basis can help you persuade your child to stop refusing to eat vegetables. Your child probably won’t like every vegetables, but you’re likely to enhance his/her palette by making vegetables fun and exciting.