If you are a parent, you know the struggle! You are all sat at the kitchen table and the little ones are suddenly not so keen on eating their greens. Or you are out driving and hear constant moans from the kids in the backseat as you zoom past McDonalds. Here are 12 smart tricks to succeed and make sure your children stay on the right side of foods.
1. Offer diverse food colors
In a post over at Summer Tomato, one thing that is suggested is to use vegetables to expose your kids to more colors on their plates. An idea might be to separate vegetable dishes and let each colour speak for itself, rather than mixing vegetables together into a single colored casserole.
2. Go for fruit skewers!
A lot of kids struggle and would rather not eat fruits, but part of the problem (and the solution) might be to change how we present fruit. Why not present fruit in style with something go-crazy creative like a fruit skewer? We don’t know what it is about sticking food on a stick that appeals, but it might be the novelty of not having to use cutlery or your hands to eat.
3. Make a Smoothie
Blend it! Guaranteed to raise a few smiles (and the young ones might be more inclined to try it out thanks to their colours). It is also easy to sneak in a few hidden vegetables as you are mixing the smoothie, which is a bonus!
4. Introduce a “no thank you” bite rule.
In a similar blog post over at CNN, the mother and journalist Amy Traverso suggests that letting your child take a bite before veoting something on the plate might be a good idea.
“We figure as long as our son is tasting the food, he’ll eventually get comfortable with it,” Amy Traverso
5. Chop your Vegetables (and be creative)
When we are in a rush, we might all revert to our own ways of chopping vegetables (which might not always be the best way to do it) Here is a video to refresh your memory and help you master the basics.
If you have some more time and want to make the vegetables even more fun and appealing to your kids, there are many fun and creative ways to chop vegetables for highest possible fun factor.
6. It is all about presentation…
Make it rain…
Show off those beautiful feathers…
7. Make vegetables a starter
Put a plate of raw vegetables out before the main meal, at the time when the young ones are at their hungriest!
8. Prepare meals together
Let your children help you wash the vegetables and if they are older, help them or show them how to chop vegetables as you are making the meal. This is a great way of showing them the “behind the scenes” of how vegetables go from their raw form to being part of a meal or just cut nicely on a plate. It’s great to get kids involved with cooking at an early age, it also encourages them to question what is in the food they are eating.
9. Take them to the supermarket
If your kids are with you as you are buying the greens and vegetables in the first place, try and get them involved already form the beginning in selecting and/or picking up the fruits and vegetables. They will be more likely to eat them in the end, as you can always say “remember this is the one that you picked? At least try a piece!” at the dinner table.
10. Keep it up
No children like to be constantly reminded of something, but eating vegetables is a lot about “acquired” taste. It simply takes a while before it becomes natural to eat them! Keep at it in both subtle and more obvious ways, and reward your kids for when they make progress! Continue setting a good example, creating fun and positive experiences around eating vegetables and celebrate small victories.
11. Be sneaky (hide them!)
Disguise them! Vegetables as part of sauces, pasta sauces, soups or stews is one of our biggest weapons in getting kids to get all of their greens.
12. Set an example
The biggest tip of them all. Kids to what their parents do, so the far best way to affect your child’s eating behaviour is by making sure you get your vegetables and greens too!
Post written by Alexander Bergström.