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How to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

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veggies

There is one thing that all kids have in common: they hate eating vegetables. Once they’ve had candy and pizza, that’s what they’d like to eat all day long! We really can’t blame them; they prefer to eat something that tastes good, rather than being force fed bland vegetables. It is the same story everyday – we place a plate of nutritious vegetables in front of them, they whine and refuse to eat it, and they always win! Kids are too young to understand what is good for health, and what isn’t. The good news is that there is a way to make them eat their veggies! All you need to do is make it taste good. Sneak some vegetables into their favorite dishes and smile to yourself cunningly as you watch them gobble it all up! Involve them when you are buying and cooking the vegetables, and they will be so excited to eat what they made! It only takes a little time and effort to get your kids to eat their veggies. Here are ten ways to make eating vegetables actually sound good, and encourage your kids to give them a try!

1. Understand what they like

There is a fair chance that your kid may like one or two vegetables like potatoes or cucumber. Introduce them to other vegetables by combining or alternating them with their favorite vegetables. You can serve sweet potato instead of potatoes, or zucchini instead of cucumber. This may be a slow process, but your child will soon learn to appreciate more vegetables!

2. Get them to cook it

If your child is old enough to cook, you could get them to assist you in preparing a dish and make them feel like they are doing all the work. Provide them with a simple healthy recipe that requires vegetables but is still healthy (like a healthy whole wheat base pizza) and teach them to chop the vegetables and to cook it. They will take pride in the work done by them, and will be so excited to eat it!

3. Use colorful vegetables

I wouldn’t blame the little ones for not wanting to eat a bowl full of green broccoli, green asparagus and green spinach; I wouldn’t eat it either! Kids want their food to look colorful and exciting. Cut the veggies into different shapes, or serve the dish in a mason jar. Make the dishes look colorful and appealing so that your children will feel excited to eat it.

4. Make up fun names

Calling the vegetables ‘broccoli’ or ‘asparagus’ makes them sound so scary and unappetizing. A study has revealed that making up fun names for vegetables makes it more likely for kids to eat them. There is nothing wrong in making up some fun and exciting names like “Power Punch Broccoli” or “Silly Dilly Green Beans”. The kids will find it amusing, and will be more excited to eat it!

5. Reward them

This is the easiest way to get your kids to eat their veggies. Bribe them with dessert, or extra television time to get them to eat their vegetables. They might eventually start liking the vegetables, and there would be no need to bribe them anymore!

6. The ‘five bites’ rule

The one bite rule is one where you tell your kid that he only needs to take one bite, and can then decide if he wants to eat the vegetable or not. This method may not work, because the stubborn child will always choose not to continue eating it. If, instead, you impose a rule that your child has to take five bites before deciding whether to continue eating the vegetable or not, he would have gotten used to the taste by the fifth bite, and is more likely to actually like it!

7. Count Your Blessings

If your child is mature enough to understand, you could probably remind him how lucky he is to have food on the table. When your kid is stubborn and refuses to eat his food, you can explain to them how there are so many young children of his age, around the world, who cannot afford to eat a single meal a day. This will teach your child to count his blessings, and to value the food placed before him.

8. Be a Sneaky Mamma!

Another cunning thing to do would be to sneak the vegetables into their favorite dishes. The taste of the delicious dish will make the kids oblivious to the presence of the vegetables. You could add some broccoli to their mac and cheese, or wrap bacon around carrots to make them eat it! Your kids will not realize it, and will soon start loving it!

9. Make the vegetables accessible to them

If your child has access to a cabinet full of chips and cookies, they would never want to eat vegetables! Stop buying a lot of junk food, and stock up your refrigerator with cut fruits and vegetables.

10. Set an example

If we, as parents, are not particular about eating healthy, our kids will do the same. We must stop eating take out and stop buying too much junk food in order to set an example for our children. They must know that having easy access to junk food at all times is not an option, and they will soon start eating whatever is prepared at home.

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