Ten easy ways to have your child eat more vegetables.
No sneaky stuff. No bribes.
Is dinner time a struggle at your house? How often do you tell them ‘eat your vegetables’ ‘At least taste it!’? You want the best for you child right, you want them to eat healthy. Try new things.
We have had our fair share of dinner time struggles, mostly for ex-tre-me-ly sloooooow eating. We fell for the trap of games at the table. Purely because we just want them to eat healthy meals. Or at least try it.
Overall though I think our girls are pretty good in the fruit and veg department. There are some things they don’t like, like broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts. Once I know they don’t like it, it doesn’t mean I stop cooking it, but I don’t expect them to eat it. There’s always the good old cucumber and tomato to offer as a side dish, right?
There are some great, easy ways to increase the vegetable intake of children. The idea is to have them eat more vegetables during the day, instead of at dinner time. You’ll know they have eaten plenty and you can stop focusing on and struggling with their vegetable intake at dinner time.
The first 5 ways to increase your child’s vegetable intake:
- let them help you. When you make a salad for lunch or when you start preparing dinner, let them help you. Buy a couple of safe kiddie knifes like these and let them wash and cut up vegetables. If you tell them they can taste it, you might be surprised. Last weekend my youngest ate half a bell pepper helping me make a salad for lunch.
- serve it raw as a snack. Most kids prefer crunchy veg over cooked. If you serve it as a snack (with a dip) they will eat it. Carrots, cherry tomatoes, slices of bell pepper, cucumber, snap peas, peas, are all great snack veggies. (Beans and snap peas etc should not be eaten raw, just blanch them).
- don’t overcook. Don’t boil your vegetables to death. They look more appealing if you boil them shorter, they keep their vibrant colors. And they stay crunchy, kids prefer that. Experiment with the cooking time but a good rule of thumb is most vegetables don’t need more than 5 minutes of cooking.
- cook/offer more than one vegetable. If you serve just one vegetable at dinner and they don’t like that particular one, they won’t eat it. Serve different vegetables or a salad to increase chances they will eat some. A stir fry is also a great way to offer different kinds of crunchy vegetables.
- salad for lunch. Instead of the sandwich or, as a side dish, make a salad for lunch. A lot of kids like the change in menu.
Stay tuned for the next 5 ways to increase your children’s vegetable intake.
Are you struggling to feed your children healthy snacks and meals? I can support you, feel free to contact me.