Are you having trouble getting your children to eat enough vegetables throughout the day? Most kids don’t get the daily number of recommended servings of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Fruits and vegetables provide essential micro-nutrients that your child’s growing body needs. However, today I am going to focus on ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables since they usually aren’t as easy to get your kids to eat.
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Try these 11 easy ways to get your child to eat more vegetables:
Mix Vegetables Inside of Other Foods
I have seen other moms mix vegetables into other foods such as meatloaf or muffins. Most kids don’t realize that they are even eating their vegetables if it is mixed in with other foods. Get creative and try a few new recipes. You can even try adding vegetables to dishes that they already like too!
Make Food Look Fun
I love Pinterest because there are so many fun ways to try to encourage kids to try new vegetables. You can make kabobs or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Try some of these ideas that I found on pinterest.
Stock Up on Popsicles
Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious popsicle? Try finding popsicles in your local whole foods market that are made from fruits and vegetables. If you can’t find them in your area, you can even make your own using a good blender.
Buy Portable Snacks
You can also purchase those portable to go snacks like GoGo squeez or even things from the baby food section (my youngest loves them). Search for ones that contain a combination of fruits and vegetables. You can also purchase your own reusable pouches and make your own fruit and vegetable pouches. If you make your own, they do need to be consumed or put into the freezer immediately because they don’t contain preservatives like the ones that you buy in the store.
Try Making Fun Shapes or Zoodles
Click on the photo for more information about the 3 in 1 Vegetable Spiralizer!
There are plenty of tools that you can use such as the 3 in 1 Vegetable Spiralizer to make fun shapes using a variety of vegetables. You can even use it to make zoodles (you can use zucchini or even carrots) to replace regular pasta or mix it with it. After you make the zoodles, steam them and top with spaghetti sauce. Or you can even make fun shaped carrots, coat them with a small amount of olive oil and bake them on a pan. Then add seasoning as desired.
I just started making smoothies a few weeks ago and I added some fresh spinach to my smoothie. My 4 year old even enjoyed it. He was getting a serving of fruits and vegetables and he didn’t even realize it. There are a ton of recipes on Pinterest for making healthy smoothies. Try to avoid the ones in shops because they contain too much sugar.
I remember growing up that my mom would add cheese to some of the vegetables that she served. You can add cheese to a variety of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and other veggies. Give it a try and see if your kids enjoy it.
Try Adding Garlic Salt
I love adding a small amount of garlic salt to my most of my vegetables. It adds tons of flavor without adding a ton of unnecessary calories. My youngest sees me doing it and asks for garlic salt on his veggies too.
Pair Vegetables with Things they Enjoy
You can pair new vegetables with foods that they already enjoy like bacon, butter, ect. It is a way to get your kids to try vegetables that they would have normally rejected without trying them first.
Don’t Force Them to Finish Vegetables They Don’t Like
I always follow the “one-bite” rule in our house. I at least make them try it. Kids usually say they don’t like something before they have even tried it. Don’t get frustrated with them if they do take a bite and don’t like it. It isn’t good to force your child to eat something they don’t like at first. It takes up to 8 to 10 times for a child to reject a food before they actually decide if they like it. So keep offering them different vegetables until they have had a chance to really determine if they like it or not.
Get Them to Help You
Take them with you on your next trip to the grocery store. Allow them to pick out a few vegetables that they are interested in trying. Then get them to help you chop, cut, or prepare the vegetable dish. Kids usually enjoy helping even in the kitchen and it is a great way to teach them valuable life skills too.
I hope that these ideas have been helpful and that you are able to get your child to enjoy more vegetables. Most kids don’t get enough servings of fruits and vegetables in their diet so give these easy ideas to get your child to try new vegetables today.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons