5 Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Vegetables

5 Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Vegetables
5 Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Vegetables

It is very difficult to get children to like something that they have grown a distaste towards. Children are very adamant about sticking to their selections and trying to change that will get you in trouble with them. This is especially true when it comes to food. Anyone who has ever parented a child knows exactly how picky children can be with their meals. Not only are they picky, but they are also very unpredictable. If they like chicken soup today, they may hate it tomorrow. If they hate pudding one day, they will fall in love with it the next day. You can never tell how a child’s palate is going to behave, unless the food on the plate is a vegetable.

There is nothing unpredictable about a child’s hatred for the veggies. Children simply can’t stand the sight of vegetables even though they hold the key to good health. This puts parents around the world in a state of dilemma. How can a helpless mother possibly make her reluctant child eat broccoli, kale, and spinach?

Well you could always hide the vegetables, but it only works till a certain age. Once the kids grow older and wiser, it becomes necessary to stop hiding the vegetables and start educating the children on the benefits of munching on the green veggies. Children need to understand that vegetables are healthy and nutritious foods that will make them happier in the long run. If you can’t figure out a way to do that, then here are five simple tips to help you out:

1) Don’t Make Them Think that Veggies are the Enemy

The reason why children hate vegetables is because they have a preconceived notion that veggies are the enemies. As long as they remain stuck with this misconception, they are going to keep pushing the plate away every time you serve vegetables. According to the leading healthcare experts, our kids are exposed to a lot of negative messages about healthy eating. One message that rings in their heads is that healthy foods are meant to taste awful. The other horrible message that they get about veggies and healthy foods is that they are something that need to be consumed in order to gain access to a more delicious treat. For instance, how many times have we told our children to finish the peas on the plate before moving on to dessert?

Such remarks automatically make the child assume that veggies are worse than desserts and every other food on the menu. They need to know that each and every single food group is important for maintaining good health and keeping the body well nourished.

2) Let the Children Choose

If there is one thing that children absolutely love, it is being given the power of choice. According to studies, children are much more likely to consume a healthy amount of vegetables if they are allowed to pick and choose the type of fruits and veggies that will end up on their plate. This is where you have the opportunity of fulfilling the role of a smart parent. You have to create a scenario where the children get excited about selecting vegetables.

Do not give them too few options, as they might end up hating all of them. Do not flood them with an endless range of vegetables, as it will confuse and bewilder them. Present them with a reasonable number of options and try to hype up each option according to its merits. For example, if bean sprouts are one of the options, you could always let the child know how the protein in this vegetable will make them stronger and faster athletes.

3) Grow Your Own Vegetables

If you have space for some gardening in and around your house, then you should grow your own vegetables. This is one of the easiest and simplest ways of getting your children intrigued about veggies. Starting a small garden and letting your children become the farmers can work wonders. Not only will this make them excited about having vegetables, but it will probably turn them into “veggie proponents” at school.

4) Serve Crunchy Vegetables

According to researchers at the Wageningen University of Netherlands, children prefer vegetables with a crunch over those that have a soft and mushy texture. Anything that is mushy, squishy and slimy should be replaced with crispy, crunchy and juicy. During the research, it was found out that children were more likely to eat crunchy carrots than mushy French beans.

5) Remain Persistent

If you do not succeed initially, then do not lose heart. There are very few parents in the world that can get their children to like vegetables in one or two attempts. No matter how much the children refuse to eat the vegetables, remain persistent and keep improving your veggie game plan. You will get there eventually.