Making children eat their vegetables is one of the classic parenting struggles. Some lucky parents have kids who eagerly chew up anything put in front of them. In contrast, others have children who insist on buttered noodles at every meal. Children need to get the fiber and nutrients found in vegetables to aid in growth, help healthy brain function, and boost their immune systems. Also, eating nutritious foods helps them start a healthy habit early. However, convincing your kids to eat the recommended 1-3 cups of vegetables daily is easier said than done! With that in mind, we’ve compiled these tips for getting your children to eat vegetables.
Tips For Children To Eat Vegetables
Let the children choose. Being part of the decision helps your children feel in control and more excited about what’s served, so they’re more likely actually to eat what’s on their plate.
Serve vegetables throughout the day. Include a portion of vegetables and fruits at lunch and dinner, and offer them as snacks. It gives your children more opportunities to eat a variety each day.
Play with food. Try to make games for picky eaters. Encourage your children to eat leaves from a tree (broccoli) like a giraffe or stegosaurus. Have them practice their numbers as they count how many peas they eat. Ask them to name other foods the same color they are eating; they may be distracted enough to eat without complaining.
Use fun plates and let your children help arrange the food on the plate, so it looks nice to them.
Set a good example. Children pick up cues from adults, so it’s important to see them eat and enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Hopefully, combining the above tips will help your kids eat more vegetables. Still, if you need to, there’s nothing wrong with using a few tricks. These stealth solutions are great ways to ensure your kids eat their greens, which they won’t know! Pro Tip: These tips are also helpful for adults looking to increase their vegetable intake.
Sneaky Ways To Serve Vegetables To Them
Add cauliflower to mashed potatoes. Steam the cauliflower and mash the cooked potatoes until combined. Once seasoned, your children will never know the difference.
Hide vegetables in the meat—grate carrots, mushrooms, or squash into whole shredded turkey, beef, or diced vegetables. Use the shreds to make pasta, burgers, or meatloaf, and enjoy your sneaky helping of veggies.
Try to add to sauces. Conceal mushrooms and carrots in tomato sauce, boiled sweet potato or butternut squash in mac and cheese sauce, and steamed cauliflower in alfredo sauce. A good mixer will help the vegetables disappear.
Make smoothies. Kids will not know they’re drinking something healthy by blending fruits and vegetables into delicious drinks.
Adopt Zoodles. Integrate zucchini noodles with traditional noodles and hide them all beneath a delicious sauce. Over time, you will increase the amount of zucchini in your children’s food. It doesn’t have to be zucchini all the time.