How to Get Your Family to Enjoy Eating Vegetables

kids_eating_veggies.jpgMany parents struggle to get their kids to eat their veggies- it’s a never ending battle in many households in America.  When given a choice, children would much rather eat anything fried or dipped in chocolate!  So, how do we make kids as excited about their veggies as they are about ice cream or cookies?  It is SIMPLE- present vegetables with excitement and enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is contagious and your kids will eventually catch on!

Is it possible to make eating vegetables a fun experience? The answer is yes!  I purchased a veggie toy set made by Melissa and Doug.  It came with an oversized carrot, onion, potato, celery, and corn.  My daughter and her friend love playing with them-pretending to eat them and talking about the colors and shapes of each one.  Think about how McDonald’s sell their Happy meals for children and how the ice cream man sells ice cream to kids…they use happy faces and fun music to get the children excited and provide an exciting experience!

Still not convinced this will make your children want to eat their veggies?  As I mentioned above, children like to make choices for themselves.  The more opportunities you can give your child to make a choice for themselves (which dressing they want or whether they want cheese or no cheese), the less likely you will be to get into a power struggle. Power struggles lead to a negative experience-something you want to avoid.

Here is my favorite veggie activity.  Throw a SALAD PARTY for your kids.  Cut up cheese, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce (or anything else you would like!) ahead of time.  Next, put each topping in a small bowl creating a buffet style dinner.  Since children love to be independent, they will love the chance to ‘make their own’ salad.

If you are convinced that you want veggies to be part of your family’s diet, than it’s just a matter of getting your children to find which veggies they like (not weather or not they eat their veggies).  It might take some time for them to get used to the taste of something new but eventually they will enjoy it…I promise!


by Expert Mommy, Toni Langdon

Comments

  1. What a great article. I will remember this when my son starts eating solids!

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  2. Thanks for these ideas! I will try the salad party. Raw veggies are much easier to get my boys to eat than cooked. One tip I have is to call baby spinach “lettuce” instead of “baby spinach”. Lettuce is already pre-approved in their minds, so might as well call a new veggie a variety of one they already like. Spinach is so healthy! I mix it with romaine lettuce sometimes, but they will eat it on its own too (with salad dressing, of course). Still, I feel that my kids don’t eat enough veggies. Their moods change with the wind, in terms of food preferences. I try not to overanalyze it too much, or I’d get too depressed! I just do the best I can, and if they won’t eat it the healthy food some days, I still enjoy it myself.

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  3. THanks Linda and Nicole! Linda-great ideas! I love that your doing the best you can and eating the veggies on your own! You’re an inspiration to your kids and setting a great example!

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  4. In the simplest possible sense, if YOU (the parent) like vegetables and choose them as YOUR food, the kids will notice too. Kids want to be mini-you, so you need to show them how. The things is you can’t fake it. It must be real, so get started by liking vegetables yourself and “let them” try some of your “treats” (“share”).

    Love the salad party idea!

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  5. Great tips! One thing I did when my son was around 3 or 4 was cut up raw veggies into “fries.” I primarily used zucchini, summer squash and bell peppers. Cut them into long strip and call them fries! But I haven’t done this in a while and this is good conviction that I need to go back to stuff like this. :)

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