4 Simple Tips to Get Your Kids Eat Veggies
It’s always been a huge battle for parents to make their kids love veggies. Who among parents of these days hasn’t face such a case? If you’re one of them, you’re lucky. On the other hand, if you are reading this. You know how difficult it is. Vegetables are plain life; they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and nutrients that play a critical role in the growth of your children. Parents will always be the first teachers of kids on how to establish a good healthy eating pattern.
Give yourself a break, sometimes if it’s your first time parenting, whether you’re a new mom or a new dad. As the struggle arises, you end up bringing your kids to fast food restaurants to eat fast food, which is a big no-no for their health. If you feel like you always lose at fast food vs. veggies battle, you need these four backup simple tips to get your kids to eat healthy vegetables. Implementing a healthy meal plan for your children is no rocket science; you don’t have to be a nutritionist just to get started. There are some easy and simple tips that you can follow; at this point, let us review some of them:
1. Plan in advance
You probably have tried steaming spinach with lettuce and place them on a plate, and your kid goes, “I don’t want that, put it away, mom.” The parent’s common response will be “Eat it or no more visits on the playground.” Instead of pushing your kid to eat it, encourage them to do it. Kids’ minds are always on the move and create. So, take the time to get into your kid’s head and act like them. If you were in their shoes, how would you like a vegetable to placed on your plate? Do you like them all plain and green? Or you’d like other colors on it?
Here’s the tip, consider making a lettuce smoothie and dip some Oreos on it. There’s a great chance that they’ll get the Oreo and eat it, encourage them to eat even just a single spoon of the smoothie- at least, you have encouraged them to eat just a bit. Just do it again in their every meal and snacks to support their veggies intake.
Planning for a small meal plan will be a good strategy to do it. You don’t need to have everything Laden out for the whole week, prepare meal plans for 3-4 days, and you’ll be off to see some results. Let your creativity go wild; you can slice carrots and cucumbers into smaller pieces and put it along the side part of the plate, while in the middle is their favorite food. Always incorporate into your plan to put a good amount of veggies.
When you plan, you’d be less prone to grab drive-through fast-food meals. Take time to plan and make sure you shop for fresh vegetables. Fresh veggies always contain most of the nutrients and vitamins that could boost your kid’s overall health. Whole grains can also be an excellent source of beneficial fiber, include it on your shopping list. So, take your time mommies- plan and have an excellent breakfast!
2. Offer choices that are acceptable to you
“Which do you want to eat first the apple or the carrots?” They never told you, but kids love to offer a lot of choices. When you don’t give them any choice, they’ll feel they are cornered and most likely will be rebellious. So, it’s better to approach them with love and enthusiasm, play with them like “Mr. Apple will love to get into your tummy and boost your energy.” If it does not help, try dipping tiny slices of apples or carrots in a creamy and cheesy sauce. “Mr. Apple is surfing”- try to make fun while trying to get your kids to eat veggies and fruits. Whatever you do, don’t forget to give them choices.
Don’t force them to finish it all. Most likely, they won’t leave the dining table with a clean plate. There will always be leftovers, whatever you feel of the day- don’t push them to eat it all since there’s a huge tendency that they will hate eating veggies and fruits all at once. That’s contrary to what you are trying to advocate. What’s important is that they have eaten some of it, and they get some nutritious juice out of it.
Know the “one bite rule,” praise them for eating even just a single bite of veggie. Don’t pressurize them to eat. It’s either they are just adjusting to the taste, or they are already full. Kids know what they want, so it’s wise to be thankful even if they eat a few veggies.
3. Reward their little achievements
Giving rewards for your kids lets them have a greater sense of completion and relaxation at the same time. It will provide them with the idea of “If I do this, I please mom. I should do it a lot often.” Your kids love you more than you could ever imagine, they might do things that are unpleasant to you that are because it is part of their self-discovery learning. Always adjust to how their mind works, they don’t do that to annoy you, they do that because they want to see the cause and effect of the things they do.
If they do something good, take them to a long ride- something that they would enjoy. If they prefer a day off from their homework- allow them. They might burn out and are still adjusting, so make sure you help them cope with things. Always give them a time to enjoy and have fun. Take to a playground and play with them. This will surely give them a whole lot of extra pushes to have more love for vegetables.
Get their dream toy or buy them a stuffed toy to surprise them. Kids love surprises as older adults do; make sure you do it a lot to them. It makes your “get my kids to eat veggies” scheme a lot easier to get. It does not have to be expensive, but we encourage you to involve your kids in various activities like “Whoever finishes the applied smoothie first get a $5 bill reward”. Think of recreational activities- there are lots of them in the corner. You have to take space in your heart and reward your little people’s achievements.
4. Say “Yes!” more
“No, you can’t have that Doughnut – haven’t you eat enough already?!” or “No, don’t play with the vegetables!”. As a parent, we understand that you need to say the word “No” more often than saying yes. We understand your struggle, but according to child psychology. It will help a lot if you say more “Yes” to your kids. This idea can help a lot in encouraging your kids to eat veggies. Start by practicing saying, “Yes, you can have the donut for a snack when you eat Mr. Apple.” You can slice the donut in half anyway. What’s important is that you have encouraged your children to eat vegetables and fruits.
“Mom, I want a pie for lunch” Your kids love sweet stuff, as the saying goes, “Sweet Tooth rules!” When it comes to children, they love delicious foods as adults do. There are many healthy pie recipes that you can try that incorporates vegetables. One good example is the “Mint Chocolate Pie” It comes with good sprinkles of mints that go with the blend of chocolate and chips. It’s delicious and healthy, encourage your kids to eat the whole slice, you can make sure that they have eaten a good amount of mint.
Starting from today, try to wire your tongue to say “Yes” more often than saying “Don’t and No” most of the time. This creates a wider freedom space for your kids that they have choices, and you are on their side. Knowing your children’s sweet spots may take time, but worth it. Don’t rush and continue knowing what your kids love to eat. You can incorporate veggies alongside with their favorite dishes.
There’s nothing more powerful tip than showing your children that you genuinely care for them, and you only want nothing but the best and healthiest foods in the world to get in their mouths. Make sure you look at your schedule day by day and check if there is any improvement in their veggie intake.
Dear mommies, raising a child that’ll grow a love for veggies and fruits can be difficult, don’t forget to give yourself a break when you seem can’t handle it and enjoy the process. The process of getting them to love veggies may be tough, but sooner or later they will start loving it without having you having to force them. Happy parenting!