Raising a kid who loves veggies can be quite a challenge, but also it might be easier than you think. A few simple tricks and a lot of patience can help your child build a healthy relationship with food. From introducing vegetables early in their life to experimenting with different recipes, trying new things can be beneficial for both physical and psychological well-being.
If you want to improve your chances of success then try these few tricks and you’ll find your kids loving veggies, and being less picky with their food.
Make veggies part of every meal
The best vegetables for kids are the ones you mix into their favorite meals. If they don’t like the look, you can easily camouflage it by using it as a dip for French fries. There are endless recipes available for you to try, and the great thing about veggies is that they can be versatile.
Kids are attracted to cool and colorful things, and the same goes for food. For example, use zucchini as pasta, cauliflower as a pizza crust, or shredded veggies as pizza toppings and sauces. You can even make veggies as fries or snacks, and remember to regularly introduce new and different ones with their favorite meals.
Show your kids you love veggies too!
What better way to teach your kids about how delicious and healthy veggies are than to show them? Children are more likely to follow their parents’ example, so you can talk all you want, but if your kids see you eat veggies every day, they will want to follow that. Eventually, they will want to try them as well.
Another important thing to bear in mind is to never give up. Persistence always pays off! If they don’t like spinach as a salad, make a spinach casserole and mix it with yogurt. Or if they don’t like broccoli, try to make it as a dip for fries, or smashed in a soup. Endless possibilities, endless ways to experiment.
Experiment with vegetables and make recipes together
Getting your kids to help you prepare food can make it a fun experience for them, and a great way to try out different food including vegetables. Usually, greens like spinach and peas are some of the veggies that kids’ don’t like at first. While cooking together, try to do different recipes with different vegetables to make it seem more fun.
And it’s not just cooking, but also shopping for veggies together. Let them join you for grocery shopping and let them pick what they like. If you live in a house, plant a garden and introduce raw veggies in a fun way at home. Let them harvest and eat the veggies they’ve grown, and it will be such an exciting moment for them.
Presentation changes perspective
If the problem with veggies is because of their look, then get creative and try to experiment with arrangements. Making the food look fun will make your kids want to try it. Imagine a colorful pizza with veggies as toppings or a salad with many different kinds of veg. You can even put a piece of fish or meat on top of the salad, and it will become even tastier.
Kids love fun and new ways of doing things, so let them eat veggies that they can dip in sauce like hummus, guacamole, or fruit salsa. Combine them with their favorite food or dip, and introduce new veggies from time to time to avoid getting bored with the same ones every time.
Never force them to eat
When parents want their kids to eat healthier they sometimes lose track of how much they insist and can make it even more unlikely for their kids to eat certain foods. You can simply encourage them, but never force them to eat something. This will only make it worse and they might never want to try something again.
Letting them choose their favorite veggies will help them take ownership of their diet, becoming more willing to try the finished product. Regardless of their relationship with vegetables, try to encourage healthy habits by including them in grocery shopping or making recipes at home. Continue to have conversations about healthy food, just try not to force your opinion on them.
One certain thing is that serving veggies daily at meals and snacks can take up to 20 times before your child likes them. So, never give up and never force them. Let them choose and experiment before they find what they like. It’s all about a healthy mindset and teaching them about healthy nutrition in a fun and interesting way.