As parents, it can be a never-ending battle to get your kids to eat their vegetables. You want them to have the nutrition they need, but when you set their dinner plate down in front of them, you end up fighting to get them to even taste some broccoli. But the battle of wills can be won, if you take a few steps to make eating right enjoyable.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Kids love to play in the dirt, and they love to help out mom and dad. One way to get your kids to eat vegetables is to get them more involved in the whole process. You may not have room for a large vegetable garden, but even planting a few items and having your kids help water and care for your vegetables will get them excited about eating the products.
In addition to creating opportunities for more time together, letting your kids help you in the kitchen will make it more likely that they will want to try different foods. Nothing will make a kid more proud than to see dad eat some carrots that he helped peel and cook.
Also, kids love group activities and you can use that to your advantage. Show them some vegan recipes for kids, and let them be the chef of the kitchen. You can even buy a vegetable steamer that works in the microwave so they can have more of a hands-on approach to cooking.
Kids love to dip and dunk foods. Make a tray of different vegetables and serve with some low-calorie dip or salad dressing. Even peanut butter will work well. Kids will enjoy experimenting with different vegetables and dips.
Take Them to the Grocery Store
Take your kids grocery shopping and let them have free reign in the produce section. Spend some time going through all the different vegetables, especially the more exotic items. Let them pick out a few vegetables they’d like to try and then take them home and serve them at the family meal. Raving about what a good choice that particular vegetable was for dinner can help make a child much more enthusiastic about eating right.
Let Them Play with Their Food
Although it might go against the grain, letting your kids play with their veggies can be an excellent way to get them to experiment more with eating them. You can cut carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and other vegetables into fun shapes, then let your child make his own 3D picture.
Make Vegetable Juice
Get your blender or juicer out and show your kids how much fun it can be to create their own vegetable juice. Have a variety of different vegetables your child can choose from and add them to the blender along with some tomato juice. You can even rave about a particular blend of juice like you were commenting on a vintage wine. Before you know it your kids will make it a priority to experiment and taste different concoctions.
Hide and Disguise
If you’ve tried all the above approaches and your kids are still resistant, then you can always resort to hiding vegetables in their food. You can puree cauliflower and mix it in with mashed potatoes, cover broccoli with cheese, or make a vegetable soup and top with some crackers.
Getting your kids to eat better doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you take a little time to make eating vegetables fun, you’re more likely to have success. Being a positive role model is also important. If your kids see you enjoying vegetables, then they’re more likely to learn to enjoy them too.