Do you find it difficult to win the veggie war with your little one? Don’t worry as many do but there’s a solution to every problem.
Vegetables give your child the essential nutrients but the battle between kids and a plate full of veggies is as old as time. A healthy diet means lots of vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients that help your little ones fight against chronic diseases later in life. However, getting them to eat the greens can be the most difficult part.
If you got picky eaters at home, here are a few tips and tricks for getting your kids to eat up more vegetables…
- Be a Role Model: It is imperative to set a good example with vegetables and you can do so by being a role model for your kids. Kids tend to model the eating habits of their parents and if you’re reaching a lot of good food, they will likely take them too. So, get the casseroles at home filled with healthy food every day!
- Choose Colourful Utensils: Kids love to eat from colorful and beautiful plates or bowls and you can encourage vegetables by offering them in a casserole. You can choose something of your kid’s choice to encourage healthy eating habits.
- Mix Veggies into Their Favourite Meals: The vegetables are so versatile that you can easily mix them up with your kid’s favorite meals. A few examples may include using cauliflower as a pizza crust, adding shredded carrots or chopped spinach to pizza, make green sauces, etc.
- Butter Them Up: Butter is something most kids love to eat and you can take advantage of this fact by buttering up the veggies for them. Also, young tongues are sensitive to bitterness and you can add that natural sweetness by butting the vegetables a bit.
- Praise Your Kid for Eating Vegetables: Whenever your little ones try vegetables, praise them to encourage them to have more. However, don’t let praise become the focus of the meal but your aim should be to encourage them to eat healthy, not because they want a reward from you.
- Get Your Kids Involved in Cooking: It is not like getting them involved in something like frying but in planning with cooking vegetables. Kids are likely to want to eat the vegetables that have helped to prepare as this gives them a sense of accomplishment.
- Offer Vegetables as Snacks: Yes, that’s right – vegetables make great snacks and you can experiment with different types of veggies. Some snack ideas include a bowl of cucumber, carrots or capsicum, frozen baby peas, veggie sticks with natural dips like yogurt or cheese.
- Introduce New Vegetables Slowly: These little creatures are new-food-phobic and often get attracted to new vegetables. So, instead of pushing everything at once, try introducing the new vegetables slowly so that they are always excited to try something new.
- Peer Pressure Might Work: Kids often work great in peer pressure and you can bet the whole gang to finish their vegetables. Either send your child to a friend’s or cousin’s home to invite them to your home to encourage them to eat together.
- Let Them Choose by Offering a Deal: This might look a bit sneaky but it works with many kids as they love to choose their food. Offer them two or more colorful vegetables and ask them to choose one and they will pick something when given the option.
- Make a Good Presentation: Adding a touch of beauty will encourage your little ones to eat vegetables as what looks good, tastes good. Appealingly present everything as it may grab your kid’s attention.
- Allow Treats Once in a While: Offering your kids something of their choice once in a while will make no harm. This will help them understand that if they will eat healthy as told by you, they will also get some candies or cookies to eat.
- Make Eating Fun: The more creative the meal is, the more likely your kids will eat. So, have fun with the food and you can try smiley-face pancakes or make baby trees using broccoli to make everything interesting.
- Keep a Positive Attitude: Children often say no to vegetables but this doesn’t mean you need to be pushy or give up. Adjust your attitude and keep trying because as long as you balance these times with smart choices, your kids with developing good habits.
Why are vegetables important for your little ones…
The dieticians recommend eating a variety of vegetables every day because they offer all the essential nutrients our body needs. Vegetables provide minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and many other nutrients essential for the proper growth of kids. These nutrients and minerals not only help prevent excessive weight gain but also help protect against chronic diseases.
Different vegetables can protect the body in different ways, so it is important to give your kids a variety of colors every day. Most green veggies are naturally low on fat and calories and that’s why do wonder on kids.
Tips for Working Parents
If you’re a working parent, you should invest in some good quality hot case and serving casserole as this will help you keep food warm and safe. You can also bring home some colorful casseroles to make eating fun for your kids. Buy fresh vegetables and fruits of the season and you can also take your kids to a farmers market.
It is also good to educate your little ones about the benefits of healthy eating and the disadvantages of fast food. Even if your child is not old enough to understand the nutritional value of vegetables, make them understand that this is good food.
Being a working parent, it is always good to plan meals so that you have enough time to spend with your little champs. Also, you will be able to pay attention to cooking a balanced meal and make your kids more cooperative during mealtime.
So, are you ready to have some fun with vegetables…?