10 ways to get your kids to Eat their Veggies!
The new MyPlate eating guide from the USDA recommends that half of the plate at every meal should be full of colorful fruits and vegetables. Do we hear a collective sigh from parents, "Really? What world do they live in? My kids don't like vegetables."
Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a challenge and very frustrating. Here are ten tips to help get your kids to eat their veggies.
- Eat yours. That's right parents, you need to set a good example for your children to follow. It is amazing how many parents say they can't get their kids to eat vegetables, and it then turns out that at least one parent doesn't either eat them either. Children follow us, so lead them where you'd like them to go. The more we behave as if it's normal to eat vegetables, the more our children are likely to eat them. For that reason, eat meals with your children whenever possible.
- Get them involved in cooking and growing the veggies! If they feel like they have contributed by caring for the plant as it grows or by cooking it with you for dinner, they will take pride in their work. They have to eat it!
- Make up cool names. Anything with an awesome name is ten times better! Instead of calling it broccoli, call it POWER TREES, or MINI SPY TREES or anything else you can think of that's fun!
- Hide the veggies in other food. If you know they just won't make the decision on their own, puree the veggies and hide them in things like soup, pasta sauce, smoothies etc.
- Nothing wrong with a little dip!Putting out a platter with ranch or eve a cheese sauce to dip veggies in is always better than your kids not eating veggies at all.
- Make the one bite rule. Tell your kids they can't say no to a veggie before having tried it at least once for that meal. This way they might end up liking it, or, at the very least they will have had a bite or two of veggies before moving on.
- Make fruits and veggies accessible to your kids! Keep a shelf designated to fruits and veggies in reach of your children's arms. This way, it's the only thing they can get if they want a snack!
- Let your kids arrange the veggies on a plate making artwork out of them! Again, if they feel like they are contributing in a fun and creative way, they are more likely to want to eat what they took part of.
- Don't be the bad guy! If your kids just seem to not eat their veggies because you tell them to, don't do it anymore! Your job is to provide them with a healthy balanced meal. When you enforce eating fruits and veggies, you become the bad guy. And nobody likes the bad guy.
- If all else fails, Bribe them! You can always bride your kids to eat veggies with things like dessert, hangout time, a one-time pass on their chores and anything else you can think of that your child would value.
So there you have it. These are some awesome tips that will usually work. Of course you always get the stubborn ones that will put their feet in the ground and absolutely refuse, regardless of what you do. That's okay! They will soon grow out of it, especially if you reinforce eating properly by doing so yourself. Make sure you set a good example to your kids! Eat healthy, and they will too.