Trying to get kids to eat vegetables can become futile if they don’t like veggies. Fortunately, all it takes is a little creativity. With the right approach, your kids can learn to love vegetables in a variety of different dishes.
Serving Vegetables Kids Will Love
Historically, kids and vegetables don’t often get along. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Something as simple as preparing the vegetables differently or getting the kids involved with cooking could do the trick. Give one of these tried-and-true methods a shot:
- Model healthy eating
- Serve roasted veggies
- Have the kids help cook
- Combine the veggies with something else
- Have fun with the veggies
- Don’t give up
1) Model Healthy Eating
If you don’t like veggies, you’ll find it hard to convince your kid to eat them. As a parent, you should set a good example by eating the vegetables as your kids watch. Kids copy behavior that they observe in others. If they observe you practicing healthy eating habits and getting all your daily vegetables, they’re more likely to do the same.
2) Serve Roasted Veggies
Some vegetables simply don’t taste good raw. On the other hand, some methods of cooking vegetables leave them mushy and tasteless. Try roasting vegetables in the oven with a little olive oil and spices instead. The veggies will appear crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the seasonings will add a savory flavor that can make the meal more palatable.
Pro Tip: Cooked vegetables on their own don’t always taste that great. Combine them with savory seasonings or sides to make healthy meals more appealing to kids.
3) Have the Kids Help Cook
Getting your kids in the kitchen is another best way to make them love veggies. Go with the kids to a grocery store or farmer’s market and have them pick their favorite veggies. Give them a sense of accomplishment from helping you select and prepare a tasty dinner. Children are more likely to eat vegetables if they feel like they had some control in which ones they eat and how they’re prepared.
4) Combine the Veggies with Something Else
Vegetables on their own aren’t always appealing to children. Instead of making veggies the only food at a meal, combine them with another dish or side for added flavors. Try serving vegetables with healthy dips or as additions to pizza, tacos, or other foods. Experiment to find complimentary flavors and pairings your children are especially fond of.
5) Have Fun with the Veggies
The old advice not to play with your food isn’t true here! Encourage your kids to view their vegetables as something more child-friendly. An especially young child may enjoy arranging a plate of chopped vegetables to look like a face. For slightly older children, try coming up with fun nicknames for different vegetables or even assembling them into little designs. Let your child’s imagination (as well as yours!) lead the way.
6) Don’t Give Up
If your kids still don’t love a specific vegetable after several attempts, don’t give up! It can take ten or even more exposures to accept the veggies. Besides, kids’ tastes tend to change when they grow. You may notice them voluntarily eating more vegetables as time passes.
Encouraging Healthy Eating
Veggies carry essential nutrients that can keep your kids healthy as they grow. With the right strategy, getting your kids to eat their vegetables doesn’t have to be a battle. Find ways to make these healthy foods more appealing and encourage your children to try new things.
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