Getting your child to eat their vegetables is a war that parents have been fighting for a long time. How does a parent win this power struggle? Giving up would be too easy and really isn’t in the best interests of your child’s nutritional needs. With issues like child obesity becoming a fact of life, parents are right to be concerned about the lack of vegetables being consumed by their child.
In order to get your child to eat vegetables, you need to set a good example as a parent. If you are a picky eater and don’t particularly care for vegetables, your child is probably going to follow suit. It is good for your health to add more vegetables to your diet also, for weight control and good health. Since parents are the one who plan the meals, start adding vegetables to every dinner.
Instead of cooking vegetables, why not try offering them to your child raw with an appealing dip. A yogurt or even ranch dressing makes for a tempting treat that your child cannot resist. The child who turns up their nose at cooked carrots may really enjoy the crunchiness of raw carrot sticks. Use peanut butter to entice your child to eat celery sticks. Cream cheese is another option to top celery sticks.
Many children do not like vegetables because they are too mushy. Try steaming vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli will still have crunch but will not taste as strong as raw broccoli does. Another idea to get your child to eat vegetables is an age-old idea-hide them.
When you make a meaty spaghetti sauce, dice carrots, celery, spinach and onions and add it to your sauce. The vegetables may cook away into the sauce but it is one way to make sure that your child is getting their serving of vegetables. Hiding vegetables in a meatloaf is another option. You do not need to make the meatloaf with beef either. Try a turkey loaf which is lower in fat and still high in protein.
Soups are a great way to add vegetables to a child’s diet. Making a homemade soup that cooks with vegetables in it and serving your child only the clear broth with noodles or potatoes is another way to get the goodness of vegetables into your child’s diet.
For children that don’t need the vegetables to be hidden, try adding vegetables into a children’s favorite such as macaroni and cheese. Stir in some cooked broccoli before serving. This is an easy way to get your child to eat their broccoli. The cheese sauce helps to make it go down easier.
Parents should also involve their children in the preparation of meals. Taking them grocery shopping with you and having them choose vegetables is another way of getting them to start eating vegetables. Offer them a challenge that you will both try new vegetables by trying something new every week. If you offer to try it with them it can work because they will see that you are giving it an effort also.
Getting your child to eat their vegetables takes a little creative thinking but it isn’t impossible. You will be teaching them good habits that will last a lifetime once you get them accustomed to eating vegetables.