Parents can have a hard time convincing their kids to eat vegetables. The nutrient rich, colorful veggies on the plate seem to be the least attractive ones to many children. Vegetables have numerous benefits for the mind and body. To help maintain a healthy lifestyle children, parents should work on getting their kids eat more vegetables. Scientific research studies have been carried out on this subject of getting kids excited about eating vegetables.
Below are 5 ways that will help parents incorporate vegetables into their kids’ diets. Remember that children are very picky eaters and take time to recognize flavors. So be patient and use these tips, which are proven to help your child become a healthy adult in the years to come:
1. Food should be fun:
Kids are often attracted by shapes and new designs on the plate. This can be a very important trick in incorporating vegetables into your child’s meal (e.g. you can cut out different broccoli shapes for your kid). Similarly, you can cut cabbage as a flower or try new shapes with a cucumber. Creating fun on your child’s plate will increase his chances of eating and liking vegetables.
2. Plant vegetables and shop for vegetables with children:
A kitchen garden is a great place to initiate vegetable liking among your children. You can plan some activities on weekends and get your kids into the garden to sow vegetable seeds. Getting them involved in growing veggies will make them anxious to see them, water them and eat them. This activity will give them awareness about the nutrients vegetables contain and the reason why you ask them to eat them more often. Also, you should bring your kids along while shopping for vegetables. Ask them to pick their favorite ones from the stall. Make some easy vegetable recipes with your children in the kitchen – they will definitely enjoy this!
3. The “one-bite” rule:
If your child refuses to eat a vegetable, you should expose him/her to this vegetable at least 8-10 times more. You should try the “one-bite” rule here. Ask your child to try it at least once. After repeatedly seeing the vegetable, the child will develop a familiarity with it and ultimately may enjoy the flavor.
4. Mix up Flavors:
Mixing up different flavors like garlic and butter with vegetables will make them more appealing to children. You should mix the flavors with something that your child likes e.g. you can serve chicken along with boiled vegetables with some pepper or herbs on them or you can add a salad leaf in a sandwich. Your children will get the intake and sometimes won’t even notice the veggies.
5. Veggies as a Snack
Still having trouble getting your kids to try veggies? Have them try Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips, Broccoli Bites, Beet Chips, or Roasted Kale. Kids will feel like they are eating chips but really you’re sneaking in some terrific nutrient dense veggies!
6. Be an example:
Lastly, your eating patterns are the biggest example for your children. If you are constantly asking them to eat veggies but not eating them yourself, you will not motivate your kids! However, if kids assume veggies are part of all meals since you are eating them too, they won’t know any different! Lead by example!
This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com