Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ten Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

It's hard to get our children to eat vegetables.  I don't know if you have a hard time with this as well or if it's just me.  I have tried what seems like every trick in the book and I have come up with a list of ten things that may help you with this common problem.  These tricks work best for us but I'm sure your children may be different than our when it comes to eating vegetables.

1.  Give Your Children a Choice - Ask them if they want spinach or lettuce for example.  Let them make the choice of which vegetable they will have with their meal.  When they help with the decision they are more likely to enjoy the vegetable with their meal.

2.  Take Your Children to the Grocery Store With You - Bring them with you to the grocery store.  Walk through the produce department and get familiar with the different kinds of vegetables.  There are so many to choose from get some new ones and they them out.

3.  Hide Vegetables in Other Foods - You can cut up veggies really small and hide them in other foods like mac n cheese.  This really works with children that just refuse to eat any vegetables. 

4.  Put Cheese on Them - Cheese on vegetables is always a great idea.  Who doesn't love cheese?  We love cheese and when we put it on vegetables it makes them much easier to eat.  Cheese on cauliflower, broccoli, peas, green beans, etc...  What a wonderful way to get your vegetables eaten.

5.  Dips Are Great For Raw Vegetables - Celery, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes are great with dips.  A good dip will help the vegetables to down.  The dips are so good that you'll forget you are eating vegetables.

6.  No Dessert Until You've Eaten Your Veggies - We have a rule, eat your veggies with your meal or you will not get any dessert.  It works.  Believe me if you want to have your dessert you will eat your veggies.

7.  Let Them Help In The Preparation - Kids love to help out in the kitchen.  I let them help wash the veggies and put them into salads and other dishes.  It's a fun way to spend time together and get familiar with vegetables.

8.  Cooked or Raw - Sometimes a raw carrot is not wanted but a cooked carrot is.  Try each vegetable cooked and raw to find out which way your child prefers to eat it.  I do not like raw broccoli but I love it cooked.  I'm sure each child has a raw favorite and a cooked favorite. 

9.  Trial and Error - Just keep trying out different veggies until you find the ones that your children enjoy.  You will eventually find something that they like.  Just keep trying and don't give up.

10.  Have Fun - Don't make it a bad thing, enjoy eating your veggies.

I hope that these tips inspire you to keep trying to get your children to eat their veggies.  It's not easy but it's worth it in the end.  We all want healthy, well rounded children.  Just be persistent and work hard and you will find vegetables that your children will eat and enjoy.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. It's filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist—no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.” Sarah Matheny's delicious recipes and entertaining stories draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to her blog, each month, where she makes raising a vegetarian family easy and fun. She is the author of  “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.”

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