If you’re anything like me, you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies on a daily basis! Statistics show our kiddos aren’t getting nearly enough these days. Luckily, I’ve found a couple of foolproof ways that actually work!
- Home cooked meals – I say start here! Being prepared is an important piece to the puzzle. Making more home cooked meals is the easiest way to get the vegetables on their plate. When we have dinner at home, we sit together, talk and lead by example by eating the same thing we served them. Yes, even our hard headed little ones tend to do what we do. So, lead by example tonight and load your plate up on those carrots and green beans.
- Be consistent – I know after a few tries and being dismissed you may want to give up… But not yet! Keep serving those same vegetables. It may take a few weeks or could be months. Either way it teaches them that all those colorful objects on the plate aren’t going away.
- Make eating fun – Kids love to have fun and play with their food. Break out the mini cookie cutters for some fun sliced cucumber, carve carrots into hearts or make tots out of broccoli, cauliflower and cheese.
- Use a dip – My son thinks everything he eats has to be dipped. I’ve learned to pick my battles. I’ve found if I serve some sort of dip with a serving of vegetables he actually consumes more. He loves ketchup of course! I have found he doesn’t know the difference in low sugar or even organic ones. Can we say WINNING? I also use low fat dressings and I found a greek yogurt dip that he loves. Experiment and see what works for your family.
- Sneak them in – Masking the taste by using pureed vegetables may be the magic you need. Example: mix mashed cauliflower into the macaroni and cheese or blend in veggies to you regular spaghetti sauce.
- Read books about vegetables – Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but it helps! Maybe it’s the vibrant and bold pictures of Tommy the Tomato calling broccoli trees or just the silly stories about food. We purchased these three: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert, Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise by Leo Landry and Soup Day by Melissa Iwai.
- Vegetables for dessert – Chocolate! That’s right, use chocolate to disguise veggies! It’s a brilliant idea and actually tastes incredible! Here’s a recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Brownies. We love carrot muffins at our house too.
Remember this will require effort and patience but it is possible! It’s important to know that long-lasting healthy habits start young. You’re on the right path for a healthier eater. Persistence will pay off. Good luck!