Get Your Kids To Eat Veggies…Really!
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Are you having a difficult time with your child eating their vegetables?
It can be puzzling how a child who has liked plenty of vegetables from the time they were just starting baby foods, turns around one day and thinks all vegetables are “yucky”!
Soon kids realize that no matter how much they push their peas around on their plate, they just won’t disappear! Then, they try to get the family dog to eat their “yucky veggies,” only to find out that it’s not the most fool-proof plan either!
Now, as parents, what are we to do?
Our children don’t know how important it is to eat vegetables; it’s our job to impart this wisdom upon them. Hopefully, we do so in a way that allows them to keep such healthy eating habits with them throughout life.
The question is: How do we do this . . . with success? As with most issues, the “Almighty Parenting Guide” seems to have left out the section with all the “right answers.” Unfortunately there is no one perfect solution so the best we can do is consider all of our options and choose the right one for our family. We have to find out what works best with our children and run with it!
Here are some suggestions from parents who’ve been there:
Make up fun names.
You might consider re-naming vegetables to make them sound more fun to eat. For example, instead of green beans, you could call them “greener beaners”. Broccoli is always a favorite as “little trees”. At some point, you might want to tell your children the real name of the vegetable, so they aren’t ordering greener beaners when they’re 30.
Cooking vegetables in different ways
Even with adults, sometimes it’s not the food – it’s the preparation that’s the problem. You might find that your kids like to eat raw carrots with ranch dressing, but they don’t like cooked carrots. Grilled vegetables sometimes go over better than steamed vegetables. Of course, we don’t want to get into the habit of running our kitchen like a restaurant, but the point is that if kids know that vegetables can be prepared in different ways, perhaps they will be less likely to swear off a vegetable after one experience with it.
Hiding vegetables in other foods that your kids like seems like a sure-fire way to get them their suggested daily serving. For example, you could chop up squash and zucchini and mix it in with macaroni and cheese. This option might not help our kids find a love of vegetables in the long run but is a quick fix to get them the nutrition they need to be healthy.
Include your kids in the process!
Kids love to help! Take advantage of this fact. Giving kids ownership of what they are eating might prevent them from focusing on “healthy” side of dinner. Another bonus, these cooking skills might just stick with them, so that when they are in college they aren’t relying on Ramen Noodles as their sole source of nourishment.