Children and vegetables don’t go very well together.
It’s probably the next most stressful thing about parenting next to bedtime.
While there is no exact magic formula to get your picky eaters to eat veggies, there are practical tricks to get your little gremlins to eat their greens.
Here are 7 tricks to get your picky eaters to eat veggies:
1. Don’t Give Them Juice
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the habit of filling my toddlers’ sippy cups throughout the day. Those juice drinks are so laden with sugar and the sweet will completely overpower the broccoli you’re supposed to be feeding them at dinner.
Give them lots of water instead to cleanse their palate and allow them to taste the slight sweetness of a roasted cauliflower in a beet.
2. Limit Snacks
Adults are just as guilty of this – we’ve all become pretty mindless with snacking. Whenever we go out with our kids, we usually bring along a few bags of crackers to give little Jason an energy boost for the park swings.
If kids are constantly popping snacks throughout the day, meal times become more difficult as they won’t eat whatever is on their plate because they were never hungry to begin with. Moms, follow this rule of thumb: Hungry kids eat – even veggies!
3. Frequent the Farmers’ Market
Letting the kids see how their veggies grow and allowing them to actually pick their greens themselves is probably the best way to get them to appreciate and eat veggies!
Frequenting visits to farmers’ markets gives you the opportunity to explain the different ways veggies grow and help them appreciate the farm hands that worked hard for months to grow the cauliflower they’re eating for dinner.
4. Lead by Example
Kids are smarter than you realize. If you’re not making an effort to feed them more veggies, stock your pantry with healthier options, and eat them yourself, they won’t jump on the veggie-loving wagon as well.
5. Make Mealtimes a Priority
Make mealtimes a really important part of the day – cook no-fuss meals, sit and eat them together. Make it a point to cook with real food and fresh veggies and use mealtimes to spend quality time with your kids.
6. Let Your Kids Help
Make eating veggies fun by involving your children in preparing their greens. Talk about the color, texture, or make up a silly story about the veggie. Let them help wash the leafy greens, cut them, or mix them together. This will encourage them be more inclined to try eating the veggies since they helped make it.
7. Don’t Force Them To Eat Veggies
If you’ve reached this point and thinking, “I already did all six and my kid still won’t eat his veggies.” Well, if that happens, it’s likely it will happen again, but don’t worry – it will happen less and less as they grow.
Keep on trying different creative ways of preparing their veggies and always prepare a healthy alternative when they refuse to eat their spinach, like maybe carrots and hummus.
This list was adapted from this article by Motherly.