Getting your child to eat healthy foods that he or she dislikes can be a hard task. The important thing is, you are trying! In a world full of mac n’ cheese, pizza, and french fries, vegetables can easily become the foods that your child dislikes. The good news is that these feelings can change. It can be a hard process to teach your child that even if they don’t LOVE vegetables, they can still learn to eat them. We are here to help you. Here we created a list of 8 ways to get your child to eat more vegetables.
1. Learn the facts together
When a child learns the super powers that each individual vegetable has, they may be more excited to eat them! Make lists of the benefits of eating each vegetable, including which part of the body each vegetable can strengthen. Read these over with your child daily and have them remember facts about each vegetable. Next time your kid doesn’t want to eat their broccoli, have them come up with the reasons why they should be eating it!
2. Set a good example
Make sure you are putting vegetables into your own diet as much as possible. When grocery shopping, have your child help you find where each vegetable is in the produce department. Stock the fridge with a variety of vegetables, and have different vegetables on the table each night for dinner. Having your child grow accustomed to seeing different types vegetables in the house, along with you eating them daily, may make them more likely to open their minds to eating them as well.
3. Plant Together
Source: Grow Plants Eat Food
If you already grow your own produce, this is a perfect opportunity to have your child help out! Getting excited together about the vegetables in the garden may also get your child excited about eating those vegetables at the dinner table. If you aren’t able to have an outdoor garden, there are many vegetables you can grow together indoors! Consider starting your own indoor garden near a window that gets sufficient sunshine.
4. Cook Together
Source: Daily Nation
Try involving your child in the cooking process. Whether it’s washing the vegetables, or helping you read the recipe out of the cookbook, give your child tasks that he or she may be able to accomplish. Spending this extra time together in the kitchen may help your child become a less picky eater.
5. Make your menu kid friendly
Vegetables don’t always have to be boring. Try using a recipe that your child will love such as veggie pizza or veggie burgers. Show them that vegetables can and do taste good! Some great ideas for these recipes can be found here!
6. No snacking before dinner
Source: Food and Nutrition
Try to minimize snacking before dinner. When your child is hungry, they may be more likely to eat what is given to them. Holding off on the snacks in the mid afternoon makes room for a big appetite at the dinner table. If they ever need a snack in between lunch and dinner, keep it healthy and cut up some fresh bell peppers or cucumbers.
7. Reward System
Try rewarding your kids at the end of each week if they eat all of their vegetables. Giving this incentive will have them feeling excited about their vegetable eating. Once this reward system becomes a routine, so will the vegetable eating! Remember to try this on top of the other tips as well to make sure your child is using other ways to develop good eating habbits.
8. Don't Give Up!
Source: Huffington Post
This one is important! It's easy to get frustrated and feel hopeless in the fight to get your child eating their veggies, but don't give up. With all other things in your child's life, this takes time. Sooner or later they will find the vegetables that they enjoy (or tolerate) and it won't be so hard. Remember small steps add up quickly in the longer journey.