Not every child happily gobbles up their vegetables. In fact, for most of them, it takes a lot of convincing to get them to do it. If your kid turns up his nose at vegetables every day, try these handy tips for getting him to eat and even enjoy them!
Sneak them in
One of the best ways to get your kids to eat vegetables and stop nagging and stressing about the situation is to sneak them into the food. Make your own tomato sauce and blend vegetables into it. Things like carrots and zucchini are great because they leave no tell-tale signs. Use the sauce on pasta or make your own pizza. You can creatively do this with other veggies too.
Encourage food play
We always say not to play with our food, but we can have a little fun here. We can pretend we’re giants eating trees (or broccoli) and hopefully our kids will copy us. There are a million scenarios we can attempt so give them a try.
Make it pretty
Some parents have great results by plating the vegetables up in a fun or pretty way. Make patterns or make the face of their favorite characters. If it’s more appealing, it stands a better chance of being eaten.
Let them take a dip
Sticks of vegetables can be really boring without a dip. Dipping and dunking food is fun, especially to children, so serve it with ranch dressing, hummus, or something else they like.
Avoid being pushy
It’s frustrating when your kids act like they’re going to keel over and die by just looking at the vegetables on their plate so stay calm and instead, appeal to them without being pushy. Ask them to give it just one try by taking a bite. “Take one bite, that’s all I ask. If you don’t want to eat anymore of it after that, it’s ok.” By not being pushy, it makes them more receptive to trying it to make you happy.
Make sure you praise the efforts
So your son ate one bite of a carrot stick he dipped into hummus. You don’t need to throw a ticker tape parade, but you should praise the effort he made. “Good job! Thank you for taking a bite like you said you would. I’m really proud of you for trying something new.” He’s more likely to try it again or try other things if he knows it makes you proud.
Eat YOUR veggies
If you want a kid that eats veggies, you need to lead by example too. So make sure YOU eat your veggies. This is easy for those of us that like vegetables, but if you don’t you can embark on this journey with your child to make a healthy change for your family together.
Vegetables are healthy and our bodies need them. They fight off diseases and keep our body’s systems functioning optimally so eat up!