Those of you with kids (especially in that wonderful school age group) will most likely relate to this topic…..kids eating AND enjoying their veggies 🤮🤮
It never fails, I make a beautiful, nutritious meal and my 5 year old comes and rains on my parade like the boss she is. It starts with a look 😕then it escalates to a disgusted scoffing…”THAT is disgusting and I am NOT eating it!” It’s beyond maddening!! I’m sure 95% of her aversion is because her friends wouldn’t eat it and the other 5% is a texture thing…so fair enough but how the heck do you get those essential nutrients and vitamins into them without a fight??
1. First off…sorry non-veggie lovers but you have to be the example!! If you keep saying ew then they will not be buying what you’re selling! Pick things you love and talk about why you love it!
2. Make it fun!!! Even if your mother told you a thousand times not to play with your food, now is not the time to heed such advice. Make it a game! Maybe you need to trek through the forest of broccoli to save the princess?? or scrape away the snowy fields of cauliflower to save the dinos…whatever their imagination runs with!!
3. Get them involved in the prep!! Whether you take them (or ask them) what they want from the supermarket, or have them snap beans get them to help you with the food in some way. Giving them that sense of pride gives you more of an edge on getting them to eat it!
4. Enforce the one bite rule! As long as they try it I’m happy. I can’t expect my kids to love something just because I do, similarly I can’t expect them to love everything they try so we try one bite.
5. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but don’t force them to finish everything on their plate. (This is a hard one for me….not going to lie) By ‘fighting’ to eat we create a negative meal experience and wind up right back where we started. Stick with one bite and grow from there.
6. Reward good behaviour, doing so will create a positive food experience. Stickers are an awesome reward for trying ‘just one bite’.
7. Let’s be real…I find myself saying the word ‘healthy’ to my kid A LOT…do I think she gives a DAMN about healthy NOPE!! They’re kids, they don’t care about that at all, so why not switch it up to something they do want…’Eating your greens will make you BIG and STRONG.’
8. Bring on the colours!! With our food coming in such a wide array of colours we can always offer plenty of fun and interesting colours to their plates! Purple carrots anyone?
9. Make an interesting looking plate. Most kids DO NOT want their food to touch each other, hence, small piles around the perimeter are the way to go but maybe you make it a rainbow around, or a happy face, or a heart!! Get create and have some fun while plating. One of my favourite things to do!
10. Don’t be shy about adding butter, cheese, bacon or garlic!! Add some familiar and favourite flavours to their meals to help them get accustomed to a new flavour. One of my favourites growing up was cheese on broccoli, but I’m learning my kid will eat almost anything with butter on it! Healthy fats are totally great for everyone and a little extra for a kiddo is good!!
11. Be patient!! Often it takes 8-10 tries before something sticks. It takes effort and patience but I’m sure we can have those kids getting their veggies in (even if they narrow it down to 2 to start).