If you have kids of your own then you know how big of a pain in the butt it can be trying to get them to eat their vegetables! Although I'm no expert in this subject I've got a few tips and creative ideas that I hope can help you.
How To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables
1. Get them involved
Kids love helping and they are more likely to eat something when they've had a part in preparing it. My son loves grocery shopping. We let him touch and smell all the vegetables and tell them what they are. Of course it takes forever to get it done and sometimes we have to buy something not on the list, but it is all worthwhile because he enjoys it. He gets excited when I tell him what is in his dinner and he remembers helping to shop for it.
When your kids get order give them tasks like being in charge of the shopping list while you are at the store and "remind" you what needs to be bought. Give them their own shopping list, flashcards or even a game to play while at the shops.
Whenever possible let your children help prepare a meal with you. Kids as young as toddlers can also help. They can spin the salad spinner or rip lettuce leaves, mix whatever is in the bowl and add the ingredients to it and stir. As they get older they can even help with meal planning and perhaps cook something themselves (with assistance from you of course).
2. Make Vegetables Fun
Play with felt or wooden vegetables, make fruit and vegetable portraits or stamp with vegetables. Play with a touchy feely bag full of vegetables and have a taste test. Start a garden and let them help plant and take care of the vegetables. If having a garden is out of the question why not make a vegetable garden pillow or a felt one that they can play with? Make crafts and read books about vegetables. The key here is creating positive memories with vegetables from a young age.
11. Veggie Feely Bag
14. Felt Vegetables
3. Use Creative Presentation.
Make ants on a log, serve vegetable pizza or add cheese, herbs and spices. Make cracker faces or serve veggies in a muffin tin meal or in a bento box. For older kids you can draw faces and pictures onto a plate and decorate the plate with your meal. Have kabobs or stir frys. Serve with dips, cheese, salsa or hidden vegetable sauce. Make vegetable “sushi”. Give them V8 juice instead of fruit juice. Serving any type of food in a creative way and changing it up often is a sure fire way to intrigue their curiosity!
9. Bagel Faces
10. Bento Boxes
4. Hide or Disguise them
It’s amazing how many vegetables you can hide in tomato sauce, sloppy joes, soup, casseroles and muffins. You can mix fruit and veggies together and put them in fruit smoothies and even make them into popsicles. Although I don't believe in hiding vegetables ALL the time sometimes it is necessary.
5. Be Patient
Although it is frustrating when kids don't eat their vegetables it is a good idea to NEVER force them into it. Kids are more likely to remember the one time you tried to force them into eating their vegetables then the few other times they might have tried them and perhaps even liked them. So change it up, offer a variety and try new vegetables that you’ve never tried before. Keep offering them even if they don’t want to eat it. And most of all be a good role model and eat them yourself. If you show your kids that you enjoy vegetables and give them reasons why, eventually they will too.
Here's some great recipe books for some more inspiration:
I hope I've given you some new ideas to try and hopefully a method that will work for you and your family. I'd love to hear how you go and if you have any other ideas or suggestions that have worked for you. Best of luck in your veggie feeding endeavours!