We all want our kids to eat healthier, right? Some kids just naturally gravitate towards healthier snacks, but for most of us, we have to find new ways to get our kids to eat more veggies, especially if we’re raising a particularly picky eater! Today, we have some great parenting tips from Jennifer of I’m Addicted to Cooking that will help you convince even the pickiest kids to choose healthier foods without a struggle! Check it out!
Tips That Can Help Your Children To Eat More Veggies
For most parents, getting children to eat vegetables is a big challenge. Vegetables are a vital part of healthy diet. It is a good idea to ensure that your kids consume the appropriate amount of vegetables. They should enjoy them.
The vegetables are important because they give kids energy, fiber, water, antioxidants, and vitamins. They are also essential in boosting their immunity. They should also eat a wide variety of foods. Each day, the children who are under the age of 8 years should have 2-5 servings of vegetables per day.
The following are some of the tips that can help kids to enjoy eating vegetables without any problem.
Be a good example
Kids always learn how to choose from us. The best way to encourage them is by letting them see us eating and enjoying vegetables. The best time to teach kids is during family meals. This is where they can learn about healthy eating. This includes eating stir fries, roasts, curries, and pasta with vegetables. If the kids can see you enjoying the veggies, they will probably want to do the same.
Keep trying with the veggies
When your kids first taste the vegetables, they may not like them. All you need to do is to keep offering them different vegetables during meal times. Encourage them to just taste. They may change their minds about the vegetables at some point. Other kids may take a long time to accept the veggies.
When the child tries the vegetables use praises
Each time your child tries the vegetables, praise them. They are more likely to eat them again. Tell them what they did right. For example, “Rita, I like the way you ate the broccoli and the spinach.” Your aim should be to encourage them to eat veggies because they like them, not because they want the rewards or praises. Don’t punish them for not eating it. Take the meal away after about 20 minutes. Try again another time.
You can involve the kids when cooking the vegetables
Kids are more likely to eat the vegetables if they participate in cooking them. You can let them choose the type of vegetables to eat for supper, let them put the prepared vegetables in the steamer with your help, wash the vegetables and other easier tasks in preparing the vegetables. The older kids can chop or grate the vegetables if they can handle a sharp kitchen tool.
Offer vegetables as snacks
Vegetables can make great snacks. Prepare a few different types at home for your kids to try out when they’re hungry. Snack ideas include fresh pea hummus, dilly beans, cherry tomato-halloumi skewers, and many others.
You can have the vegetables in meals in different forms
You can mix the vegetables with the food that your kids like. Try adding grated vegetables in their pasta soups or sauce, too. By doing this, you’re not exactly improving their love of veggies (since they can’t really taste them), so it’s still important that we give them the vegetables in their original forms. This will ensure that they get used to different textures and tastes.
Choose vegetable of different varieties, fun, and taste
Choose vegetables of different shapes, tastes, textures, and colors. This will help kids to find the one that is interesting. Don’t serve the vegetables with the food that your kids like. Their full attention will be on the food, not the vegetables.
You can try to roast the vegetables with lemon juice and fresh herbs. You can also use chopped broccoli on a pizza or stir-fry. This will be more appealing than the whole steamed vegetables. You can have fun by making faces from the vegetables for a snack plate. Use grated carrots as hair, a bean for the nose, cherry tomatoes as eyes, and the capsicum pieces as the mouth.
How you can roast vegetables for kids
The kids will love them because they are sweet. There are lots of vegetables that can be roasted. Choose the one that will have the texture that kids can handle. The following is a guide on how to roast the veggies for kids:
The required ingredients
- Different vegetables
- Olive oil
- Dried herbs (rosemary, thyme)
The vegetables include broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
Prepare the vegetables
- Break the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets. The rest can be peeled and sliced into wedges or slices. The pieces should be small for them to cook evenly. Add the apples to make them sweeter.
- Put them in a pan or baking sheet for roasting the vegetables. Ensure that the pan is big enough to hold the vegetables without overlapping.
- Use some oil to season. You can use the olive oil which can also add some good fats to their bodies. The oil will also prevent them from sticking to the pan. Most of the vegetables can be eaten without adding any flavors. But for the kids, you can add a small amount of salt, some dried herbs, or garlic that is grated.
- Toss them well and ensure that they spread well in the pan.
- In a preheated oven, roast the vegetables until they are tender. This should take about 20 minutes. Some veggies may take longer. Check their tenderness by using a fork.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool for some few minutes. Serve them when they are warm. Check the potatoes to ensure that they are not hot for the kids.
You can serve the roasted veggies plain or with some sauce to dip in. The remaining can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat them before you serve.
About the Author: Jennifer is a certified cook enthusiast and a legit photographer from Ohio, USA. She is a food lover and thus makes blogs about it at Imaddictedtocooking, which include her own photos for the demonstration of how the recipes are made. Contact her on Twitter at @jenniferimaddi1.