If there is one constant problem parents seem to have, it is getting a child to eat anything healthy. Children tend to learn that health food is not as tasty as other foods. Many children will shun any food they see as healthy. Before, we discussed how to deal with children who are picky eaters, now we will discuss your child’s veggies in particular.
Hide It In Other Foods
The first very effective method for getting a child to eat vegetables is to hide it in other foods when cooking. Spinach shredded and placed in ground beef is rarely discovered. Cauliflower in your starch is always a winner. shredded and mixed with rice or mashed potatoes, and the child (or adults!) will never even know! Mixing some vegetables into scrambled eggs may help as well. There are even veggie pastas you can buy and the kids have no idea each serving includes vegetables! There are so many ways you can sneak in veggies into your children's food. Pizzas are great as well, very few children refuse pizza. Add a blend of meat and vegetables to the pizza and make sure they get all or nothing works almost every time. Also, do not forget the power of sauces! Variety being the spice to life starts early. If you continue to introduce a variety of foods into your child's meals, they will be less resistant as you introduce them with regularity. You can even make it a special event, one day per week or month, or have a special food night. If you can get the child excited over the event, with a balloon on his chair, a candle in the food, and dessert night with the new feature food, your child will be more likely to expect the excitement and even welcome the new food or veggie night!
Mess With Their Reality
Double up the amount A child needs to have 3 servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day. A good psychological trick is to give them double the servings of vegetables for a meal and then tell them they only have to eat half. This works as a great negotiation tactic, especially when there is something else they do not care for. They do not like the meat, they can hold off on the meat or starch if they eat the other serving of vegetables.
Make Eating Fun!
Making a game out of eating is not ideal, but works as a last resort. If you make eating fun, they are more likely to finish the game. Make animals and smiley faces out of the food. Another fun game is to tell them the broccoli is a tree, and the dinosaur nugget needs to eat the trees. Making eating fun takes some of the attention off of the taste and helps clear that plate.
Smoothies Are A Treat And Are Nutritious
Smoothies are an almost guaranteed winner for fruit and veggie intake in large amounts all in one shot. In one smoothie you can pack two servings of fruit and two vegetables in one glass, making that final vegetable serving a snap. There are so many smoothie recipes out there, it is almost impossible for your child to oppose them all. Here is a handy list of kid friendly smoothies
In the end, with these tips alone, you can have the child drink a smoothie in the morning, hide one serving in food, and then make them eat one serving a day. You can provide all the vitamin nutrition necessary for a healthy child. Remember, variety is key. three servings of only cauliflower per day is almost as bad as nothing at all. If you are ever having difficulty with your children’s vegetable intake, be sure to give us a call or schedule an appointment. We can figure out a plan together to help your child’s healthy food and vitamin intake.