It’s sometimes tough to get kids to eat vegetables. Here are some tips to get them to do so:
1. Make vegetables fun! Cut them into different shapes and give them entertaining names. The pic associated with this post is of Delicata, a type of squash which can easily be cut up into rings. You can also create meal themes – squash rings can be a part of a circus theme and broccoli florets and kale can be dinosaur food. It’s ok to play with food – remember, that’s what kids do!
2. Be a role model – children look up to their parents and if you aren’t eating veggies, why would your kids? Incorporate a vegetable with every meal and demonstrate what healthy eating looks like.
3. Get children to help you prepare meals. Ask them to help with small tasks in the kitchen and they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve helped create. At the grocery store, allow them to choose which vegetables they want to bring home and help prepare.
4. Enforce the One Bite Rule. Research shows that children must be exposed to a food 8-10 times for the food to be accepted. Parents often succeed with the One Bite Rule, asking the child to try at least one mouthful of a rejected food each time it’s served. After enough exposures, the food will be more familiar to the child and they usually begin to like it.
5. Add colors to their plates – kids love different colors and seeing a variety on their plates will excite them.
6. Cut back on the junk food you bring into the house. Marketers do a great job of advertising and packaging processed food to kids. If a child has the choice between an apple and a cookie, they will most likely choose the cookie because that’s what they see promoted on TV. Be aware of what you’re bringing home and choose better options.
7. Remember that YOU are the parent and YOU are in charge – not the kids. You control what enters the house and what is included with each meal.
8. Take it day by day. Realize that what your kids eat over time is what matters. Don’t completely deny them of the things they enjoy – just limit them. Balance is important.