Just imagine giving your children a big bowl of greens and having them smile at you with their sweet little face and then say, “YUMMY! I love you so much mom!” Then they laugh at your bad jokes and do all the dishes so you can sit back and relax.
Lets just laugh at that for a moment. We can dream right?
But wouldn’t it be nice if they actually enjoyed their veggies? Well good luck for you, because it is possible. Here are some tips to get those little terrors to willingly eat those vegetables.
1.Let them pick them out
Kids love to be in charge, so if they get to be the ones to pick out the vegetables, they’ll be more excited and apt to eat them.
It can also be a fun game, and who doesn’t love a good game? Give them the task of finding the reddest pepper, the longest cucumber, and the greenest broccoli and then they will have something to brag about while they eat what they picked out.
2. Read them the benefits
Kids tend to not believe what we are telling them, so when we tell them that veggies are healthy, they think we are just pulling their legs in order to tortur them into eating plants.
Sit down with them and read the health benefits of the foods you are eating and get them hyped up to promote those healthy bones.
Carrots and tomatoes are good for teeth, and the tooth fairy loves healthy teeth.
No kid likes being sick, so give them a list of veggies that are good for immune health.
You can find visual charts on pinterest of the vegetable and their benefits!
3. Make it fun
Let them help you prepare them. Have them organize colored peppers into a rainbow.
Give them different cut up veggies and tell them to make a picture out of it.
Celery boats are always a great idea. You can add peanut butter and raisins… Or cream cheese and strawberries… Or even chicken salad stuffed celery!
Make a delicious smoothie! Let them pick out what goes in. There’s no easier way to get them to eat spinach by sneaking some into a fruity smoothie!
4. Raw vs. cooked
If you are noticing that whenever you cook them vegetables they moan about it, try introducing raw veggies. Some children just like the taste of raw veggies instead of cooked… or maybe they enjoy that satisfying crunch.
Let them snack on the vegetables as you are cutting them. Just like how kids enjoy eating their parents plants instead of their own, they also like to eat the food as you are cooking it.
5. Veggies first
If your child eats all their food and leaves the veggies last and then claims they are full, I recommend giving them their vegetables before the actual meal. Let them know that if they leave their favorite foods for the end, then their mouths will be happy to have a yummy taste be its last taste. Eventually they’ll just eat the veggies before the rest of the meal just to get it out of the way.
Just like good behavior, potty training, and acts of kindness, praising your child will help them know that you are proud of them for something. So if you praise them for eating healthy foods, they’ll be more willing to continue to eat them.
Kids are more apt to eat veggies if they are introduced to them before fruits when they are young. But if they just don’t enjoy them, keep reintroducing them because it is possible for their little taste buds to change and enjoy them eventually. Good luck.