There are many questions parents wonder to themselves. One of the most common being “How do I get my kids to eat vegetables?” As parents, we care so much about our children and their health. We want them to grow up to be healthy successful adults.
One of our primary jobs as parents is to impart a healthy attitude about food and diet. However, if you’re like me, you’ve found that your kids do not want anything to do with vegetables. You’ve probably wondered “What vegetables will my kids like?” I’ve tried all kinds of things and have done extensive research into ways to get kids to eat vegetables.
I’m going to share what I’ve learned here with you in the hopes that you too can get your kid to come around and eat more veggies. Here are seven ways you can encourage your kids to eat vegetables:
- Make it fun
Kids crave stimulation and want to learn and play. Why not make veggies something fun for them? Make a game out of it like matching colors in vegetables or picking out a vegetable that looks interesting to them.
- Teach them about veggies
If you can make a teachable moment about vegetables, do it! My kid gets empowered by learning and loves to tell people the new things they learn. Teach them about the nutritional content in various vegetables and why we need them.
- Try and try again
Sometimes a particular veggie might be scary or especially weird to a child who hasn’t tried it before. I tell parents this all the time but don’t give up on your kid! If you introduce broccoli and they hate it, try again down the road. As children grow and develop, so do their tastes.
- Mix veggies into meals.
I’m not one for “hiding” anything from kids, but you can certainly cloak the veggies in something delicious they already love. For example, one thing I love to do for my family is to make a veggie lasagna. My family already loves lasagna, so I sneak in some zucchini and squash so they’re eating more veggies. I told my kids this in advance and just asked them to taste it – they loved it! Another tip for mixing veggies in is to transform the vegetable into something else. For instance, if your kids are fans of chicken wing, you can make buffalo cauliflower “wings” for a fun and delicious way to try it.
- Try different cooking methods.
You might find that your kids respond to one cooking method for veggies more than the other. For instance, if your kids don’t enjoy crunchy things, they might like steamed vegetables more since those tend to be a bit softer. You can also change the texture of veggies by frying it. If you think your kids might respond to something sweeter, try roasting the vegetables and bringing out their natural sugars. Your kids won’t believe they’re eating a vegetable!
- Top it with something
Getting your children to eat more vegetables might mean adding some more attractive toppings to go with it. For example, your kid might love eating cheese. If that’s the case, go ahead and make broccoli for them but put some cheddar cheese on top. It goes from being a scary and boring vegetable to being a fun, cheesy treat!
- Give them the choice
Kids love when they feel autonomous. When you’re in the grocery store, give your kid a task of finding the vegetable you’re going to cook tonight. Let them know that you’re going to cook it together as well! That’ll get them excited and ready to pick a veggie. When you get back to your kitchen, have your little one help you prep the vegetable, while teaching them about it throughout the way. Not only will you teach cooking skills, but you’ll get them thinking of how they can make food for themselves down the road.
Through learning new foods and trying new things, you’re empowering your child to make changes and try new things throughout their life. While they’re still little, you can impart values of good food, thoughtful cooking, and eating well.
Check out our blog for more tips to keep your family healthy.