Don't Hide Vegetables From Your Kids!
By Sara Butler
Parenting isn't easy. Many kids are very picky about the foods they'll eat and sometimes, no matter what you do, they simply refuse to try anything new. That has led to many parents trying to sneak vegetables into their children's food. While that may seem like a stroke of brilliance at the time, in the long run, it's not a great strategy. Here's why it's worth it to make your children aware of what they're eating and to never give up!
It Helps Them Understand
It's pretty simple: You can't understand what is not seen. Disguising vegetables and fruits in your children's food in order to ensure they're getting what their body needs to be healthy certainly accomplishes that goal in the short term but doesn't help in the end. In fact, you are likely doing a disservice to your children by not educating them about nutrition and showing them just how good a vegetable can be.
When you really think about, disguising healthy foods sends your kids the message that vegetables and other healthy foods are things that need to be hidden and couldn't possibly be enjoyed. Help your child understand what it means to make healthy food choices and learn what they like and what they don't like in an honest way. Talk to your kids about why fruits and vegetables are so important to your health and connect it back to something your child likes to, like having the energy to play hide and seek. Start the conversation young and it'll evolve over time as your child grows.
It Creates Good Habits
What you teach your child about eating now is laying the foundation for nutrition their entire life -- no pressure! Give them the opportunity to practice with you and make good choices about the foods they eat. Help them understand the importance of balancing their diet between the different food groups even if they enjoy some more than others.
Also, keep in mind that it's normal for a child to reject a new food many times -- up to 10 -- before they really give it a go. If they don't like something the first time, be persistent and stubborn about making them try again later.
Don't give up hope on teaching your kids healthy eating habits. They're much smarter than adults often give them credit for!
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