Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to get you children to eat their veggies

Anyone who has kids understands that it takes a lot of skill and a little finesse to get your kids to eat their veggies. Most kids would prefer to dine on a strict diet of sugary and processed goodness. Pleading seems in vain because they tune out when you say, "Please eat your vegetables. They're good for you." Lucky for me I had a mom who did not force food; instead she offered huge portions of veggies her kids liked and tried to sneak in things that we didn't. Learning her tricks of the trade helped me to cook balanced meals for my little brother, for kids that I've worked with, and for adults that prefer a Big Mac over a home cooked meal.

Number One Lesson- Start Early

  • Offer babies variety of baby food and toddlers a variety of veggies and entrees
  • Encourage you children to taste everything, but never force them to eat anything
  • If you kids reject something keep cooking it; it may take 15 times before they will even taste it but they can eventually acquire a taste.
  • Breast feeding for longer than 6 months seems to help prevent picky eaters
  • Make meal time fun: surprise dinner- mealtime mystery, give a squeeze- preschool tips, uncover the character- colorful spoon and stickers

Number Two Lesson- Make Veggies a Treat

  • Add a small amount of sugar to veggies
  • Add cheese to broccoli
  • Sneak veggies in foods your kids like: use recipes from Deceptively Delicious, or add fruit to cereal, yogurt and Jell-O
  • Offer fresh veggies and dip with meal
  • Let you kids help prepare meals
  • Plant a vegetable and garden together with your kids

Number Three Lesson- Become a Great Example

  • Make sure you eat fruits and veggies at every meal.
  • Stir fry veggies
  • Snack on veggies, homemade trial mix or dried fruit
  • Serve fruit salad for desert
  • Put grated carrots, and fresh or frozen spinach into spaghetti sauce
  • Cook a vegetarian dinner one night a week.

Eating healthy is just as important for kids as it is for adults. If you or a loved one is not crazy about veggies use these tips to help any old dog develop an appreciation for the veggies and all the nutritional value they have to offer. Don't give up on enjoyable and nutritious meals. With creativity and persistence your kids will learn to not only eat their veggies but will learn to like them too.



lesson#2 is the best

lesson#3 is the truth, we just can't force kids to eat beggies if we don't eat them in front of them.

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