It is important to give our kids healthy and delicious meals on a daily basis and getting kids to eat vegetables can be a real task. Forcing them to eat can be the worse thing to do. There are ways to make eating vegetables more appealing, more natural, or even fun.
1. Start early, and put vegetables on the plate when they’re babies. Offer toddlers lots of different types of foods and let them see you eat and enjoy different foods, especially fruits and vegetables. This will influence them. If you hardly serve or eat vegetables, it is more than possible that your kids develop the same tastes.
2. Invite them to try a new vegetable. Sometimes they will love it the first time they try it, other times, it may take two, three, or even several tries before getting used to the taste of a new item. Ask kids to try just one bite. They may not like it, so leave it at that. Allowing them to stop at just one bite will make trying new foods less scary.
3. Let them choose a vegetable. When serving fruits and vegetables, letting kids choose from three kinds is a great food idea. Choosing between green beans, carrots, or corn will teach them that they can make a decision and their opinions really do matter. If you ask kids to pick the vegetables for a meal, this gives them a chance to be actively involved in what the family eats.
4. Kids like finger foods, why not cut some fresh veggies into little chunks and serve in a tray for all the family members. Set out individual cups of dipping sauce.
5. Another one of my great cooking tips is to serve salads first at dinner time just as the restaurants do and make it a routine. Think of it as a pre-dinner snack. Have a salad set out wherever the family is waiting for dinner. Whatever you are serving, even if it is a simple meal or one of the family’s favorites like a pizza, smelling the food cooking will surely build up the kids’ appetite and they will start nibbling on the snack.
6. Kids are hungry after school or play, so have snacks readily available. They will grab what they see first. Grab and run snacks are the best. Have cut raw vegetables, maybe grapes, plums, and peeled segmented oranges ready in small bags.
7. Grab their imagination by making vegetables more exciting. Serve cut up fruits and vegetables, and then let them create funny faces, cars, flowers, or animals. While their creativity is in the working, they are most likely to snack on the tasty pieces of art.