Lately I have been talking a lot about food and eating cleaner in an effort to lose my baby weight. My efforts coincide with my son’s growing interest in solid foods. We use a mix of purees and a baby led approach. Just the other day he was trying a broccoli tree and enjoying it. I consider myself lucky so far because he seems to enjoy vegetables no matter what form I offer. I can only hope that this continues but what if he decides to start turning his nose up at vegetables as he gets older? I know some of you are probably dealing with this right now so I have some tips for you!
10 Tips To Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables
- Model good eating habits! If you enjoy vegetables often (and with enthusiasm) your child is more likely to follow in your footsteps. Sure, not everyone enjoys the same foods but why not do what you can to encourage him?
- Make vegetables available. Why do kids like snacks like potato chips, crackers, and cookies? They are easy! All you have to do is go into the pantry and grab a cookie! So make it just as easy to grab a veggie! Cut up carrot sticks, slice up cucumbers, or break apart that head of broccoli and put them in Tupperware in the refrigerator. Then it will be just as easy to grab a healthy snack!
- Break out the cookie cutters. Get creative and make veggie time a fun time! You can use little cookie cutters to cute some vegetables into shapes and make it a bit more fun.
- Vegetable arts and crafts! Another way to get creative and help your students have fun with their vegetables is to turn it into an art project. Have a variety of vegetables available and use the plate as a canvas! Use different dips to create an edible work of art! Then share the healthy snack.
- Variety. Offer your child a variety of vegetables. Start this at a young age to develop good habits. I try to give my son a good variety of veggies because I’ve heard a few too many stories about kids who only liked the orange veggies! As your kids get older, encourage them to try a variety and have a variety available in your home.
- Broccoli trees and cucumber rings. Give the vegetables fun names that are friendly for younger kids. Chop the carrots so they can be used as little building blocks. Who wouldn’t want to play with carrot bricks?
- Prepare the vegetables. I was recently given a new tip that I hadn’t heard before from a friend. If you make your own baby food or prepare your veggies yourself, you can use chicken or beef stock instead of water to add a different flavor to the vegetables. I will have to try this one!
- At-home Salad Bar. Make salads fun at home by picking out a variety of lettuce and vegetables and set up your own salad bar. Chop up the veggies and put them in individual bowls. Put the lettuce in big bowls. Add some chicken and some croutons to the line. At the end, have some salad dressing choices. Everyone in the family can go down the line and make their own salad!
- Mix it up. Thinking of my son, I know that a lot of people have told me that if he doesn’t seem to like the vegetables on their own then I should mix them with some fruit. We haven’t had this issue but I could see how he would like it. He likes a lot of the organic baby food on the market and those come in a lot of blended flavors that include fruits and vegetables.
- Chill out! Relax and take a deep breath. Sometimes the more you push things, the worse a situation can get. Don’t give up and keep offering, but try to be relaxed about the whole situation.
Although I haven’t faced this challenge yet with the way things have gone, I’m sure it will come up for us at some point. The best thing you can do as a parent is to go with your gut and do whatever you can to encourage your children to be healthy. By setting good examples, you can have a huge impact on your son or daughter. Yes, this means you need to eat your green beans (but maybe not your brussels sprouts!) to grow healthy and strong! Seriously, does anyone have a good brussels sprout recipe?Formula Mom Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.