10 ways to get your child to eat veggies
Some toddlers can be quite picky when it comes to food. But getting them to eat vegetables can be a real struggle and often takes the fun out of mealtimes for the whole family. Here are some baby steps you can take to help you in getting your child to eat vegetables.
Put a plate of veggies in front of your kid and what does he do?
Smile, pick a piece up and chew slowly.
If you’re having trouble feeding your kid vegetables, you’re not alone and yes, that is no shock. Which kid wants to stuff his face with greens, especially when they taste like cardboard (Brussels sprouts, anyone)?
So how do you get a child to like vegetables and eat them regularly?
Well, here are 10 easy ways to get your kid on the veggie team!
Serve healthy versions of your child’s favourite food
Find out what your child likes to eat and substitute some of the ingredients with vegetables when cooking. You can include vegetables when preparing your kid’s favourite food or dish such as smoothies, cake, pizza, lasagna, spaghetti and even ice cream. There are endless possibilities to what you can do with vegetables.
Offer them a variety of vegetables
At first, your child might reject the veggies you set on the table but this doesn’t mean you should stop offering them. Instead, you should include vegetables every mealtime. If they often see them on the table, they may like them later.
Involve your child in the food preparation
You can do this by letting your child pick or choose the vegetables at the supermarket. At home, you can ask him or her to wash the vegetables you need for cooking. In this way, they will become interested with the vegetables they have helped prepare.
Take the lead
Set a good example by showing your child that you enjoy eating vegetables. If they see you do that every mealtime, they will become curious about what you eat and they’ll eventually eat the vegetables you serve them.
Make mealtimes enjoyable
Don’t force your child to eat something he or she does not like yet. Don’t struggle with them during meals. This might make them feel bad about eating vegetables and think that mealtimes are dreadful.
Offer food with vegetables when your child is most hungry
After an exhausting activity, most likely your child will eat almost anything you serve them. So, this is a good time to introduce burgers or sandwiches and smoothies, shakes or ice cream with vegetables as ingredients.
Add toppings or serve with a dip
Toppings such as butter or a happy face can add flavour and colour to vegetables. A dip such as mayonnaise or dressing can also catch your child’s interest especially if it is his or her favourite.
Be creative in serving vegetables
Serve vegetables that are of different colours. Cut them into different shapes. You can add captivating alphabet-shaped noodles to a vegetable soup. Put a happy face on the food.
Put in place the ‘one-bite’ rule
Discovering new things is a huge part of growing up, and that involves getting your child to be adventurous when it comes to food. Set the ‘one-bite’ rule at the dinner table, where they would have to take at least a bite of every dish served, including vegetables. This allows you to introduce new foods to your kids, while they discover that some veggies do not taste as bad as they look.
Let your child ‘play’ with their food
Kids absolutely love playing make believe, so why not incorporate this game while getting them to eat their greens? Let them pretend to be a dinosaur who needs to eat five brocolli ‘trees’ in order to gain super powers to outrun T-rex. Games of make believe could be a good start in getting them to love vegetables.
These steps are just the beginning. As you continue your adventure down the road of feeding veggies to your child, you are bound to find a favourite veggie that your child loves. If all else fails, introduce your child to Bugs Bunny. There never was a child who did not like carrots after watching Looney Tunes!