Are you struggling to get your kids to eat their greens? They’re super healthy and loaded with vitamins and minerals, but for some reason, kids often can’t stand them. With these five simple steps, we’re sure that your children will clear their plates and enjoy it too!
Look At Yourself
Before you start a war with your kids about their veggie consumption, have a look at your own food habits and think about what could be making them so fussy. Try to always make sure that your food is similar to your kid’s and they will trust what’s on their plate if you’re eating it too. Having dinner together as a family can also be really helpful as it limits distractions and encourages them to talk about food they’re unsure of.
Don’t Hide It
It can be tempting to camouflage vegetables in your children’s food. Although this seems like a short-term solution, it’s a one-way ticket to long-term problems as it doesn’t encourage a healthy relationship with food. Try to get your children involved in deciding what they’re eating and allow them to choose out of a selection of vegetables. It’s not very likely that they will respond well to things like Brussels sprouts – pick your battles!
Have Fun Together
Don’t lecture your poor children on the nutritional values that they’re missing out on – this will only put them off vegetables even more. Instead, why not involve your children in preparing food and have some fun with it. Ask them about what they think the vegetables smell and feel like and start to develop that relationship with food. Studies have shown that kids are more likely to eat their meals if they’ve helped to make them! Again, sitting together at a table can have a positive effect on your children’s eating habits, and using sharing bowls can give them a little bit more control over what they choose to put on their plates.
Get Into A Routine
If your children know to expect some sort of greens at every mealtime, there will be a lot less anxiety around it. Once they get into the routine of eating the vegetables, they might even start to enjoy them!
Carefully consider when and how you reward your child for eating their vegetables – there’s no point going crazy after they’ve only eaten half a carrot stick. Try to just stick to moments when they have genuinely impressed you and deserve recognition, for instance, if they’ve tried something new with no arguments or eaten all of their food for the first time that week. And finally, don’t reward food with food. If you let your children have a yummy pudding if they eat their greens, it only demonises the vegetables and makes them want the puddings even more!
So, give these ideas a go and you’ll be amazed at how easily your children’s habits can be changed.