Getting kids to eat healthy, especially when it comes to eating vegetables and fruits, can be a huge undertaking. Fortunately, there are ways in which children can ride with vegetables and fruits. I consider my kids to be quite above average in eating vegetables and the following points are how I did it!
How to get kids to eat more vegetables and fruits
You may have noticed that I have written vegetables and fruits instead of other routes around. I did this to emphasize the importance of vegetables in the diet. To stay healthy we need to eat a lot of vegetables and moderate fruits.
Many people see them as one category and assume that if we are eating fruit then we are meeting the needs of the body. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Therefore, these tips will help encourage children to eat more vegetables (especially) but only if your child avoids spreading fruit.
Make it a habit
One of the best ways to get kids to eat more vegetables is to make them a regular part of their day. When fruits and vegetables are part of every meal, it becomes normal.
My kids see vegetables as part of their diet in addition to their own, so they are expected to see lots of vegetables on the table.
Mentoring, for example, is an important part of teaching children healthy eating habits. When we eat and enjoy vegetables and fruits, our children try (and like) them too.
Treat the fruit
For some children, just thinking about eating something “healthy” drives them the other way. If this is true for your children, try them first with fruit. Many children find it easier to enjoy fruits than vegetables, so start there. Teach your children that even though the fruit is healthy, it is a wonderful treat! Try these recipes to get the kids on a fruit boat.
Although eating too much fruit is not healthy, so don’t eat too much fruit! But as an introduction to production, fruits can be very helpful. You can also start adding vegetables to fruit dishes. Pure squash can be added to fruit popsicles, leafy vegetables can be added to smoothies, and so on.
Children may not try celery 10 times the first time it is offered, but eventually, they will become curious and try it (especially if they see you trying it). Also, they don’t like celery when they try it for the first time, but after trying it a few times, they can add flavor to it. Unwanted tastes can sometimes be misunderstood as bad tastes, so it can help motivate children to try more and more things.
In our family, no one is allowed to complain about food. They may dislike something and choose not to eat it, but it is not okay to complain. The first is nutrition, which I think is important to teach children. In addition, complaining about food is unpleasant for both chefs and shows a closed mindset.
Therefore, in our family, everyone is expected to sit down together at meal times (even if they do not eat) and adopt a positive attitude. We see this as a great opportunity to connect as a family and reflect on what and how we are eating.
Get kids involved in cooking
When children participate in food preparation, they feel owned and are more likely to try new foods. My kids have learned a lot from doing this course and now help out in the kitchen on a regular basis. They have taken on the responsibility of incorporating all healthy foods into their diet and snacks and are therefore very open to trying new things!
Here are some simple recipes for cooking for children, including vegetables and fruits:
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to let the kids into the kitchen, but I’m so glad I did! She is a very good cook and a great eater because of that.
Teaching children where food comes from
Children (and adults!) Are more interested in what they are eating if they know where it is from. So knowing their vegetables and sharing this knowledge with children is a great way for them to be interested. You can do this by exploring local farms and farmers’ markets or growing your own vegetables and fruits.
I want my kids to know how important it is to eat vegetables, but sometimes the easiest way for kids to eat vegetables is to hide them. I don’t lie about vegetarians. After tasting and enjoying the children’s food, I will tell them that there are additional veggies in the recipe. This helps them learn that vegetables taste good and that there are many ways to get enough vegetables every day. Here are some of my favorite printed veggie recipes:
Finding creative ways to hide vegetables in your favorite foods is an easy way to add more vegetables to your diet and can help children get used to the taste and texture of certain vegetables.
Make them fun
When food is served in a fun way, my kids are always more willing to try it (and generally like it!). Finding new ways to serve food or preparing to make it more appealing are some of the ways to make veggies more appealing. Here are some ways to do this:
Sometimes making food more appealing is as easy as arranging it beautifully on a plate or putting everything on a square (and drowning with it is always welcome!). My kids love to try anything arranged in a party platter, especially when it’s colorful and beautiful.
Sneaky vegetables and fruits
Putting more vegetables and fruits in the diet is not as difficult as it may seem. The key is to find some recipes and ways to present them that will tempt children. This is also helpful when the elders in the family are open-minded and always willing to try something new. Before you know it, vegetables will be part of your daily routine and children will eat them (mostly) without complaint.
What are your best tips for sticking to extra vegetables?