A research team from the UK discovered that 46% of children refuse to eat vegetables. Moreover, 75% of surveyed parents expressed concerns over their kids’ nutrition. It’s quite understandable that we want to give our children all the vitamins they need to grow strong and healthy. The only obstacle is that some kids constantly act up about eating fruits and vegetables, but have no fear, there might be a solution.
Thankfully, there are many parents out there who’ve tried different ways to get their child to eat healthily, and some of them show promise.
1. Take your child grocery shopping with you.
Involve your kids in choosing food for your meals, show them where it comes from. An even better idea would be to take your child to a farmer’s market, as it’s less likely to have any unhealthy items that might appeal to them. The idea behind this is that if children pick something themselves, they’re more likely to eat it. Perhaps they’ll get something that you usually avoid and love it.
2. Dips can make things go a long way.
“Condiments aren’t the healthiest food,” you might think, but there are actually so many variations of sauces on the market and some don’t contain unnecessary sugar. Hummus, salsa, and yogurt-based dressings are just a few of the nutritious and tasty dips you can use to let your child try with various veggies. They’re also a great snack option.
3. Sneak a little of sugar into your cooking.
This is a very smart tip about using sugar to your advantage, but in moderation. For example, you can roast carrots with a maple glaze or even just a sprinkling of brown sugar. Or if you want your child to drink freshly squeezed juice, like prune or apple, try mixing in a bit of root beer. The idea is that your kids will outgrow the need for extra sweetness, but will get used to eating their veggies and fruits.
4. Play around with your food
This is a chance to let your creativity shine. Try arranging your child’s plates into funny faces, we’re lucky veggies and fruits are so colorful! In addition, you can try coming up with amusing names for your dishes, remember “ants on a log”? You can create your own versions for meals you cook the most often.
5. Don’t arrange their plate, let them assemble it themselves.
Let your child exercise independence by making their own plate. It could take a few tries before they get to veggies, but eventually they’ll want to try everything. In addition, again, if they picked it themselves, they’re most likely to eat it. At the very start, make sure that the dishes you put out have a mix of several macros, and that there are always proteins, carbohydrates, and fats present on the table.
6. Involve them in the cooking process.
It can take some work, but the payoff can be tremendous. Kids love getting creative, so why not introduce them to the art of cooking? Plan a meal with them (you can do it at the grocery store together) and let your child help out in the kitchen. If they’re too young for that, try dishes they can arrange themselves, like fajitas or tacos.
7. Put out fresh fruits and vegetables even if your kids don’t eat them.
One mom suggests always keeping veggies on your dinner table to show your kids that this is the way it should be. They might not want to eat them, but it’ll create a habit in their head. So as they grow up, they won’t feel comfortable without some sort of veg on the table. If you don’t want to be wasteful, reuse those veggies in your own meal the next day, so you’ll lead by example.
8. Cook healthy family-style meals, so that everyone eats the same thing.
Don’t prepare different dishes for the kids and adults in your family, you’re not a restaurant, and as a family, you should eat the same meal. Family-style courses are the way to go. Plus, it’ll get the kids to arrange their own plates, as one tip above suggests. This is an absolute win-win scenario.
Do you have a little veggie hater in your family? How do you deal with them?