How to Raise Kids Who Eats Lots of Veggies
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us have been tempted to hide extra veggies in soups, meatloaves or casseroles, but there may be better answers to getting our kids to eat vegetables.
Not forcing the issue, but just making a wide array of vegetables available may go a long way toward helping your kids grow up liking vegetables, according to the New York Times.
Try These Tips Too
Look at these tips if you want your children to eat vegetables.
Grow a few of your own - Start small with a window garden or container garden on the patio and grow some cherry tomatoes, spinach, green onions or peppers. Young children may love helping water them and watching them grow. They will also proudly bring them to the table for everybody to try.
Enjoy family dinners - When everybody gets a chance to talk and dinner becomes a time to catch up, kids' appetites usually flourish too. Put the phones away and give everybody a chance to tell about their day.
Skip special kids' meals - Sometimes it is too easy to go to fish sticks, tater tots or hot dogs, which automatically limits a child's chance to try all sorts of vegetables and other foods. Start with family favorites in fruits and vegetables and serve one menu for everybody.
Provide lots of choices - Be patient and offer your children lots of fruit and veggie choices. Raw vegetables with hummus dip, bowls of cherry tomatoes are good starters. Never demand that your child eat a specific food. Making dinner a traumatic event can create food issues for years to come. There are so many food choices available. Why risk creating a lifetime finicky eater by making dinner a contest of wills.
Limit snacks - Natural hunger will make kids more apt to try more foods. Hold down the snacks so that kids come to the table ready to eat.
Take them along shopping - When kids get to cruise the local farmers market and pick out a pineapple, melon, tomato or pepper, they may be a lot more receptive when they show up at dinner.
Let kids help in the kitchen - Being part of the cooking or baking is an excellent way to help kids be more receptive to a range of fruits and vegetables. Keep a range of vegetables on hand and let them do the choosing. Baking a banana loaf, assembling a fruit salad, or helping wash vegetables for a soup or casserole can set the stage for an enjoyable dinner. If they are not quite ready to cook or bake, you might have them put the napkins and silver on the table.
Be patient and just enjoy family dinners as you watch your kids gradually enjoy more and more vegetables.
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