Today I’m sharing 5 proven ways to get your children to eat their vegetables, based on my experience of what works, and what doesn’t with my kids, as well as accounts of other parents I know.
So let’s get into it:
5 Proven Ways To Get Children To Eat Their Vegetables
1. Reduce snacks
Look, kids who aren’t hungry will be fussier with what they eat, than those who are hungry. I’ve noticed with my kids that when I get out of routine and give them more snacks than usual, they are a whole lot fussier with what they eat. When I stick to their usual routines, they have an afternoon snack at around 4 p.m. so by the time they eat their dinner at 7 p.m. they’re hungry enough to eat well.
2. Reduce sweets and junk food
I’m not a tee-totaller. There is a time and a place to have cake or a burger! The problem is when we make these foods an expected part of our everyday life. When these foods are eaten too much, they can cause cravings and taste bud modifications.
In my experience, the best thing to do is to only indulge in these foods on special occasions (a birthday, a weekend away, a holiday). So, not so often that it changes your child’s taste buds, but not letting it become such a forbidden food that your children have an unhealthy interest in it when they do have it.
3. Eat vegetables at the beginning of each meal
Start each meal with vegetables (a salad, a vegetable dish or a soup) because this is when children are hungrier. By dong this, it’s a lot likelier that your kids will eat their vegetables well. I like to serve soup as a starter in the winter and a salad as a starter in the summer. Then I also like to add vegetables to the main dish whenever possible, which actually leads me to the next point.
4. Incorporate vegetables into meals
When making dishes like mince, stews, and curries, try to add as many vegetables as you can to your dishes. This could be vegetables like carrots, onions or garlic, or even peas, peppers, and broccoli! Get creative and focus on eating a lot of different colours.
5. Serve vegetables in different ways
As mentioned before, salads, soups and stews are great vegetable-rich dishes, but don’t stop there.
Fry courgette in butter and top with thyme (it’s divine), roast aubergine and make a cheese sauce to go on top, airfry sweet potato wedges and serve with some healthy burgers (100% meat). Add broccoli to a quiche, or add peas to a curry. When serving a salad, make a tasty dressing.
(The other day, I made a dressing of cream cheese, yoghurt, Branston Pickle and mustard, and my youngest loved it so much he asked for thirds!)
Experiment with different cooking methods and food prep and soon your kids will look forward to eating different vegetables in different ways.
Vegetables don’t have to be boring and they definitely need to be prioritized. The key is to prepare them in different ways and to focus on variety. Also make sure you that as the parent you set a good example, and you make vegetables a normal part of a balanced eating plan.
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