Vegetables are a very important part of every meal. They give your child energy and helps protect against various diseases. However, according to the Center of Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania, among children ages 4-8 years old, less than 10 percent consume the recommended daily servings of vegetable. The more troubling thing is, over 33 percent of these children do not eat any vegetable at all.
If your kid is not part of those 10 percent veggie-loving kids and you experience a veggie war every day at the dining table, here are some proven ways to make your kids eat vegetables:
1 Hide Veggies In Food
This one is a very basic trick that never gets old. Hide carrots in burger patties, meat dumplings or even yummy desserts. You can also add a variety of vegetables like turnips, onion, carrots, celery, and others on chicken soup stock. Just boil them together and strain the vegetables before serving so it won’t be visible. They wouldn’t realize it If they don’t see it.
2 Turn Them Into Yummy Smoothies
Making purees is another way to get kids to eat vegetables without them realizing it. Combine them with fruit and milk to make a nutritious smoothie. Research claims that children nearly doubled their vegetable consumptions when they are served as delicious drinks.
3 Involve Your Kids in the Cooking Process
It is easier to feed kids with food that they ‘helped’ prepare. If you have a small vegetable garden in your backyard, let them water the plants and pick the vegetables. Or maybe let them pass you ingredients or make them toss greens into the soup. According to studies, it is easier for children to develop a positive attitude towards food if they are involved in the preparation. Just don’t let them lay their hand on the knife and the fire.
4 Take Advantage When they are Hungry
They say everything tastes delicious if you are hungry. But this does not mean you have to starve your kids to feed them vegetables. Just make them available in your dining table when you know your kid is about to come home from school or about to finish playing. Hide all the meat and sweets! If that’s the only food they see, they would eat it.
Another way is making them an appetizer. If you are still cooking dinner and the kids are already hungry, serve a plate of easy to cook, colorful vegetables. You might as well drag down your cooking speed while you’re at it.
5 Serve it With a Dip
Feeding your kids a plate of greens can always end up in a struggle. Pairing vegetables with various dips; like ranch, herb, garlic or pizza-flavored dips, make them more palatable and exciting for kids. In a 2013 study, it was revealed that the number of children who eat vegetables doubled when they are served with dips.
6 Be a Good Example
Okay. So how can you encourage your kid to eat vegetables if you don’t eat them yourself? This is the most effortless way to make children eat vegetables. Children are very much like sponges, they can easily absorb anything from the surrounding. Before they even develop their taste buds, make them familiar with vegetables by serving and eating them together with every meal.