Kids usually have an aversion to vegetables. Whatever the reason is, it is said that the leading cause for this is the comfortability with the taste. Most kids are given sweets at an early age, so the problem is when they grow older, all they look for is a sweet taste. They say “No” to bitter and bland foods, flavors which comprise many of the vegetables available. If you are not used to these flavors, even as an adult, then for sure you will feel an aversion to them.
If you have been looking for a way for your kids to start loving vegetables, where do you start?
Here are some tips to help your kids eat veggies:
1. Be a good role model
For one, if you do not eat vegetables in the first place, then do not expect your kids to start loving them, too. You, as a parent, must be a good role model for your kids. So, if all you eat for dinner is cornbread and ribs, and you only ever eat vegetables very rarely, then do not force your kids to eat vegetables. If you set a good example, then your children will learn from you.
Before you scold your kids for not eating vegetables, look at your eating habits first. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Are you setting a good standard for your kids? If you have some problems with your food choices and cravings, then correct these first. Once you’ve improved your eating habits, then you can start encouraging your kids to eat vegetables. Instead of bringing chips and chocolates when you are on a road trip, bring fruits and sliced up vegetables instead. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, apple slices, oranges, and bananas are healthy vegetable-based snack options for you and your family.
These may take a while to prepare compared to merely buying chips off the shelf, but do not let this ruin your motivation. The little time that you have to take to prepare these healthy snacks can go a long way for your family’s health. If you are too busy to visit the farmer’s market, meal kits (read: Sun Basket review) are a great alternative to have organic, farm-fresh food ready for cooking.
2. Never be mad at kids
The worst thing that you can do to kids who hate vegetables is to get mad at them for not eating enough of these. Not only will this instill fear in them, but they will grow to hate vegetables even more because of the bad feeling that you associate with this food group. So, never scold your kids for not eating vegetables, because doing so can instill lousy eating habits, like emotional eating, on them.
The best you can do is to encourage your kids to eat vegetables. Ask for their help when you prepare your meals, make your recipes fun by adding in ingredients that you know they will love, and share meals with them. Encourage this positive environment where they will grow to love eating healthy foods. If on some days they do not like to eat vegetables, try to know why this is so. It may be because they are sick, have no appetite to eat, or they’ve had a long day, and all they have been looking for is a bowl of chicken lollipops. Let them be kids and do not pull out the joy of being one.
It is easy to encourage your kids to eat veggies. All you need is patience and a positive outlook. Make it fun and do not get discouraged when it takes time for them to enjoy the flavors. Serve vegetables for your every meal, and make the recipes fun for everyone to enjoy.