The primary challenge that comes across every parent is to make the child eat vegetables and healthy foods. Even more challenging is to make these vegetables more appealing than junk foods. A health conscious parent would get frustrated if his/her child acts stubborn towards vegetables. Instead of trying on force eating, try to encourage them to taste new foods. Make them learn the importance of nutrition.
Tips to Make Kids Eat More Vegetables
Small changes in schedule and considering own approach and attitude towards eating can make the job easier. Read on the following tips that would make your child like the most important veggies of the group.
- Involve the Kids in Cooking
This is probably the best way to create your kids’ interest in vegetables. However, make sure to use fresh and organic vegetables. You can involve the kids to help in preparation of side dishes, salads, main dishes and vegetable casseroles. Let them select an appetizing recipe from the cook book.
- Have Patience
Patience is the key to make kids learn about healthy eating. Don’t get frustrated if your child resists to try something new or to eat a particular vegetable. The best way is go for “Just one bite” Rule. Taste buds take time to develop. So, don’t force your child to eat if he doesn’t like it after the first bite. Try again after a few days.
Make sure that you make eating a pleasant experience for your child. However, it is important to give constant reminders about the importance and nutritional value of veggies.
- Set an example
Actions speak louder than words. Kids do what they see. Parents are kids’ role models. If you want your kids to like and eat veggies, make sure you set a good example for them. If you prefer chicken to broccoli, you cannot expect your kids to leave chicken for broccoli. Eat what you want your kids to eat.
- Cut on Junk Foods
Watch over the foods that enter your house. Try to reduce the quantity of junk foods around your home. Replace junk foods like chips and burgers with veggies that can be eaten raw. Serve the kids with raw tomatoes and carrots as a replacement for junk foods.
- Be creative
Kids can be motivated easily with play. Try to be creative in your cooking and use of vegetables. For example, you can try rolls filled with fresh vegetables. These rolls can be fried or baked according to kids’ preference. Serve these rolls with peanut butter dip to enhance the taste. Serving with a dip would also make the meal more tempting.
Some creative tips to slip veggies in your kids’ diet have been listed below. Read on.
- Muffins made with zucchini, pumpkin and shredded carrots.
- Tuck a tomato slice, carrot curls, or a lettuce leaf into your kids’ sandwiches.
- Add grated carrots or chopped tomatoes to chicken, tuna, or pasta salad.
- Make tacos with tomato, shredded lettuce, ground turkey, and some cheese.
- Make a pizza and add chopped spinach or broccoli as a topping along with tomato sauce.
- Introduce new foods one at a time
Kids have a phobia for new foods. It is always better to introduce new veggies one by one. Don’t force them if they resist. A little hero worship can make the job easier. Tell the kids that their favourite superhero is fond of the particular vegetable.
- Watch your Schedule
Kids get hungry every four hours. They need a minimum of three meals and two snacks with ample fluid diet. Proper planning can provide a balanced and nutritious diet to your child. For snacks, replace chips and burgers with healthy alternatives like carrots, cucumber and other salads. Fruits are also a healthy option to munch on as snacks.
- Try Dips
If your child is not fond of vegetables, try to serve them with dips. Serve veggie salads with your kids’ favourite salad dressing. This would not only make the veggies more appealing but also tastier and more interesting for kids.
Above all, prefer to cook at home instead of ordering from a food corner or restaurant. Although restaurant food is tasty and tempting, food cooked at home is healthier. Moreover, cooking at home also restores the nutritional value of veggies.