Ways How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables :: To me, eating lots of veggies is a must. I need them. We need them. However, my family seems carbs-obsessed. So, I’m always on the lookout on making veggies taste exceptionally good and/or look like other food, so my family will eat more of them. Once eating vegetables is a habit, it does not really need reinforcing. That is the place where I like to be. And I’m on my way.
Here are my tips on how to get there.
Ways to Getting your Kids to Eat More Veggies
- Be a role-model for healthy eating habits: get your kids to eat their veggies by simply showing them how much you love vegetables and salads and eat them regularly.
- Let kids help you shopping. If kids get to pick the vegetables (they like) in the shop, their participation alone should help them to actually eat their veggies. If they can’t come along or if they are older, involve them in making the shopping list, or go over the online shopping cart with you, and think through weekly meal plans with you.
- Ask them to (help) cook. This has made a huge difference in our lives. Depending on their age and experience, of course. This responsibility probably requires looking online and researching recipes and… en passant … learning about them. Whatever they make themselves, they tend to eat in abundance.
- Buy them a cookbook. Or give them a budget to do so. Our daughter gave me a vegan cookbook, to cook vegan for her. She wants the book back when she goes to college. Only problem is, it’s not a very good cookbook, putting things together than scientifically don’t go together. other than that, this is potentially a brilliant idea as she will have ‘home favorites’ as a result of you cooking from this book that she can use when going to uni, if/when it gets to that.
- Give treats other than sweets as rewards. This is a hard one for me, as I personally grew up with getting a sweet treat for having done something well. So, yeah, this is therefore, also a good one to start building up.
- Portion control the ‘bad’ stuff. Moderation simply is not easy for everyone. It’s amazing how fast a bag of chips or crisps can go, while the smallish portion of raw carrot sticks seems never ending, and keeps on going from lunch, to snack time, to dinner as a side dish…. So, I invented a new rule. Everyone gets just 1 small bowl full. No sharing needed. My mom did this way back when, and it worked.
- Get kids into Community cooking. Our teen daughter went to work in a soup kitchen once. Interestingly, there were nearly only vegetables and starches. So, she got to see how other people feed the community in healthy ways. It was an eye opener. Not suitable for younger children, as the scenes of soup kitchens are not always emotionally easy. However, there are other community cooking events, such as communal camping cooking, like for scouting camps. That would be very suitable. I did that! Yes there were marshmellows, but they were rationed!
- Apply the ‘Just 1 bite’ trial policy: This is particularly useful for toddlers. If you don’t like to force your kids to eat their plate clean, how about applying the ‘just one bite’ vegetables trial policy? I just said ‘taste it first, and then decide. Don’t decide beforehand’.
- Grow your own vegetables. And of course, invite them to join in. If they are willing, give them their own patch. The beauty of growing your own vegetables is that you have that sense of ownership. But also, that you can just walk into the garden and pick up a couple of ultra fresh leaves of this or that. Plates become instantly gourmet and pretty with edible flowers, so I’d grow these too. Anyone, even when living on a flat can grow their own window box filled with herbs. Again such a health booster but also being able to see how your healthy ‘vegetables’ are growing all day, is a great reminder to eat them.
- Don’t fret too much over it. Last but not least, put it all in perspective. Tomorrow is another day. Let each meal time be a time for laughter, love and an abundance of sharing family time.
So, there you go. Here are my tips on ‘How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables’. Enjoy. Leave me a comment to share your success with us all.