Kids can be scared of trying new things, but don’t give up! Continue to encourage your child to eat vegetables, and continue to offer different vegetables to them. Research has shown that sometimes children need to be exposed to a vegetable 10 or more times before they will accept it.
– Continue to offer different vegetables
– Be a role model
– Show them where food comes from
– Avoid nagging, forcing, bargaining or bribing
– Involve your child
Be a role model: Kids often mimic what their parents do. So if you want to encourage your children to eat their vegetables, set a good example, and eat them yourself. Make a game of it and aim to ‘Go One Better’ together each day.
Provide plenty of vegetables and fruit: They provide the ideal healthy snack and are environmentally friendly – just think, a banana comes in its own wrapper, so does an orange and a mandarin, and all fruit peels are totally recyclable. An important point for today’s socially conscious kid!
Show them where food comes from: Have a garden in your backyard or visit a nearby garden or farm so that your children don’t miss out on gaining important knowledge about the connections that occur from farm to fork. Read more
Don’t get into a food rut: Many young children go through phases where they want to eat the same thing day after day. But that doesn’t mean you have to oblige. Serving a variety of foods, including vegetables, will encourage your child to be more flexible when he/she is hungry.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again: Try serving a small portion so it’s less overwhelming or considers pairing veggies with something you know your child likes.
For example, they could decide whether you’ll have green beans or broccoli tonight, or whether you’ll bake zucchini or carrot muffins. Invite your child to wash the lettuce and snap green beans. Simple choices will help your child feel a sense of control.
Make it fun: Try making a veggie face (like cucumber eyes, tomato nose, green bean mouth, and shredded carrot hair). Toddlers also love dipping, so try serving veggies with yogurt or broccoli with melted cheese
Be savvy about the products you by for children: We are all exposed to food marketing, and it works. Read food labels to help choose the “true” best option for your child.
Avoid nagging, forcing, bargaining, or bribing: All of these tactics will create power struggles and are doomed to fail in the long run. Just continue offering an array of veggie choices and encourage your child to give them a try. Keep mealtime moods upbeat.
If all else fails, get sneaky: Grate or purée vegetables and add them to spaghetti bolognaise, soup, smoothies, muffins, slices, hamburgers, quiches, sauces, and dips. Try mixing some other vegetables into your mashed potato, such as cauliflower, or adding four bean mix to a casserole.
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