10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat More Veggies

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Sun, Dec 4, 2011  
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Dietary guidelines suggest half of children’s plates should be filled with fruits and vegetables. But many children dislike vegetables. Here are some interesting ways to get kids eat more veggies.


1.)    Take children to the market or grocery store and let them pick out vegetables. Let them wash, peel and slice it themselves. But make sure they do so under parental guidance. Ask them help choose how to cook and flavor it. Getting them involved in the food preparation makes them less intimidated and more likely to eat it.


2.)    Children generally like pizza. See if they will enjoy adding a single veggie topping to their pizzas. Many kids will be willing to experiment. Try tempting kids to eat vegetables of their choice by setting up veggie bowls for pizza night or salad night.



3.)    Making faces with cut-up veggies may make eating vegetables an enjoyable experience for children. Chop food into small pieces to make it more kid-friendly.


4.)    Forcing a child to eat something can cause them to avoid eating it, even as adults. So do not force anything. Take it slowly and gradually.



5.)    Never do the mistake of offering children an entire plate filled with foods he does not recognize or dislikes. Convince him to try only one new vegetable at a time. Serve other familiar foods, at least one vegetable he already likes. This way you can encourage him to try the new food and also make sure that he has something to eat if he does not like the new food.


6.)    Do not give up if your child has refused to eat some food. Kid’s tastes change as they grow. They might have to try a new food several times before they like it.



7.)    Let your imagination run wild. Try and make interesting kid-friendly recipes. Puree sweet potatoes and carrots, mix them with plain yogurt and a little orange juice and then freeze them like candies. Children will love eating veggies this way. Try mixing vegetables and fruits into smoothies. Make brownies with pureed spinach, chocolate chip cookies with white beans and muffins with sweet potatoes and carrots.


8.)    Invite your child’s friend over for dinner and serve up some new veggies. Peer pressure may work in a good way and your children are more likely to try new food if her buddy is bold enough to try it first.



9.)    A healthy dip may make raw vegetables like baby carrots, broccoli or peas more appealing to kids. Kids like the act of dipping and they like eating foods with their fingers.


10.)  Parents are role models for children. Make sure your child watches you eating veggies. This will encourage them to eat healthy.


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