Mealtime doesn't have to be a struggle when you learn about how to get kids to eat vegetables. If your child doesn't want to eat vegetables, there are ways to make these nutritious foods more appealing. Vegetables should be a big part of any child's diet. They provide vitamins and minerals that are not found in other foods. The fiber found in vegetables, especially raw vegetables, provide a filling part of the diet. Vegetables are low in fat and are delicious. Making varied, delicious vegetables available each day is important to get kids to eat vegetables.
To get kids to eat vegetables, you will need:
- Vegetables, variety
- Peanut butter
Start feeding vegetable when your child is young. By introducing vegetables to a child when they are developing their taste for food is key. The fresher the vegetables the better for good flavor. When food tastes good, kids will enjoy eating it. Take snacks along to the park or other outings. If that's all there is to eat, they'll eat it or go hungry.
- Get kids to help prepare vegetables. When kids help make dinner or snacks, they're more likely to eat it. Let small kids scrub carrots with a clean, damp dishcloth. They can turn the knob on the salad spinner. Let them rinse the vegetables in a colander to clean their food.
- Serve vegetables first. Set the table and enjoy raw vegetables with a small amount of dip, such as Ranch dressing, as the appetizer course. Serve vegetables first when kids are hungriest. Be a role model by eating the vegetables along with your kids. Don't serve snacks at least one hour before a meal to ensure kids are hungry when it's mealtime. Comment on how delicious the broccoli trees are and how crunchy the sugar snap peas are when you bite into them.
- Serve a variety of vegetables. Not everyone enjoys all vegetables so serve a variety to get kids to eat vegetables they do like. Choices of vegetables include lettuce salad with all of the ingredients set out in bowls so everyone can choose their favorites. Offer lettuce, broccoli, radishes, carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and any other vegetables you know you can get kids to eat.
- Make vegetable cars. Sometimes it's okay to play with our food. Make a vegetable car with your child. Get a stalk of celery, wash it, and remove the strings. Cut the celery into about 5-inch pieces. Spread peanut butter in the groove of the celery. This is the body of the car. Cut carrot slices for wheels. Run a toothpick through the front end of the celery piece from side to side. Add a carrot slice on each side of the toothpick for wheels. Add wheels at the back of the celery car too. Place as may raisins on top of the peanut butter as there are people in the car. Let your child play with the car for awhile. Make one for your self then enjoy your vegetable cars together.
- Hide the vegetables. Add vegetables to mashed potatoes. Most kids love mashed potatoes. Clean and cut up a carrot or two to cook with the potatoes. Mash the carrots in with the potatoes and prepare as usual. There is no need to mention the carrot in the mashed potatoes. Add peas to macaroni and cheese. They will be visible but the contrast of the bright green against the yellow cheese is pretty. Don't make a big deal about them being there. Eat them yourself and say "yum."