Tips on Getting Your Child to Eat Vegetables

The childhood aversion to vegetables is legendary. After all, it is pretty common for children who encounter vegetables on their plate to immediately respond with agitation or dislike. Don’t let yourself be just another worried parent. Redefine the eating habits in your home and start bridging the gap between your kids and the veggies on their plates.

Get your Child to Eat Vegetables
Get your Child to Eat Vegetables

How to Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Here are a few great tips on getting your child to eat vegetables.

  1. Set a good example
  2. Children learn their eating habits from their parents. Not being familiar with certain types of foods is one of the biggest reasons that children refuse to eat a certain things on their plate. If broccoli, cabbage and carrots are routinely seen on a parent’s plate, children are far more likely to try them and find them tasty. On the other hand, if vegetables are served just to meet your child’s nutrition needs, you are setting yourself up for failure.

  3. Get your child involved
  4. Involve your child in the preparation of the meal. Take him to the market and let him pick out a few of the veggies. Let him string the beans, wash the veggies and mix the salad. The sense of pride and ownership in having helped out is a great motivator to eat the meal he helped prepare. If possible, start a vegetable garden in your backyard and let your child care for the plants and pluck the veggies when they’re ready to use.

  5. Serve them as snacks
  6. Instead of stocking your kitchen cupboards with chocolate-chip cookies and potato chips, keep a handy stock of cut vegetables for snacking. Carrot, cucumber and celery sticks served with a good dip makes for a delicious snack. Timing can make a big difference. Serve it to them when they come home in the afternoon with growling stomachs, or when dinner is going to be delayed, and they are very unlikely to refuse it! Once they grow accustomed to the idea of eating veggies for snacks, you will find them making repeated trips to the fridge just for a few more of those crunchy sticks.

    Get your Child to Eat Vegetables
  7. Enforce the “one bite rule”
  8. Many parents find the “one bite rule” to work well for them. Accordingly, children must eat at least one full bite of any meal that is served to them. After that, they are free to help themselves to more or eat any other dish that is served on the table. The point behind this rule is that after having ‘one bite’ of the same dish multiple times, children are more likely to eat the dish willingly the next time it is served.

  9. Add a little flavor
  10. When your goal is to get your child to eat vegetables, it shouldn’t matter that you’re adding a few calories to the meal. Add flavor to vegetables with dressing, dips, meat or even cheese. You can even try sneaking it into a favorite dish like pizza or macaroni. Zucchini cake and vegetable muffins are other innovative ways of meeting your child’s daily requirement for a balanced diet.

  11. Use the right motivation
  12. When you choose the Vegetable Supreme over the good old Margherita, you are probably thinking of heart problems, calories or getting a balanced diet. Unfortunately, none of these concerns hold any value for a child. Instead of talking about eating to become healthy, try talking about the vegetables his favorite sports star eats in order to be strong and perform well for his team.

  13. Include lots of variety and colors
  14. Children love bright colors. Try cooking vegetables in an assortment of colors in order to make them look more appealing. Also try serving the veggies in different ways – with dip, steamed, stir-fried, in a casserole, as a salad – until you find a preparation that is popular with your child.

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