The foundation of good health starts from childhood and the truth really is, “you are what you eat”! Eat healthy and always include fresh fruits and vegetables in your kids’ meal may sound clichéd, but these surely are the ingredients for a strong and healthy youth.
As parents, we do not wish to make any compromises on what goes into our child’s plate. We probably make the most delicious assortment of food, but get so discouraged and disheartened when children turn out to be picky with food and even throw a fit when that all so predictable bowl of veggies arrive on the table.
Parents try many tricks in the book to get their child to eat vegetables. Unfortunately, most kids do not begin eating vegetables with great liking on their own. They need to be coaxed, cajoled, and tricked with diversionary tactics to get the vegetables in at any cost. For all those parents out there whose only wish is to see their child improve their intake of vegetables, here are a few pointers to increase the vegetable intake.
- The first and foremost point to be considered is the attitude of the parents towards eating and what they actually convey to the child. As parents, we need oodles of patience till children get used to eating vegetables.
- Introducing vegetables slowly and carefully to children is a good way to help them get used to eating vegetables. It may be a good idea to start with a spoonful of vegetables, especially for the fussy eaters and even if they refuse, the trick is to keep at it.
- Having a variety of vegetables to taste can also get kids interested in trying out new foods. Parents may be happy to know that children eventually do pick up the taste and begin eating vegetables.
Tips To Help Kids Eat More Vegetables:
- One of the best ways to introduce vegetables to kids, especially the finicky ones are to include extra vegetables to meals and blend them into foods.
- You could also make an exclusive vegetable dish and encourage them to take a helping.
- Talking to kids about nutrition regularly and about how vegetables can make them strong is a way to get the idea ingrained in their mind.
- You know when your child is really hungry. At the right time instead of providing unhealthy snacks, it will be wise to make a healthy salad of cold vegetables or a raw salad and encourage them to eat it. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A and you could make a healthy mash of sweet potatoes with a good seasoning to make it tasty.
- Some kids love salads with a nice salad dressing. Keep a bowl ready during hungry times.
- Always keep a bowl of vegetables or salad ready in the fridge. Baby carrots make for a quick snack. Baby corn and cherry tomatoes are also an all time favourite. Stock up and allow kids to eat them when they are really hungry.
- While shopping for vegetables, allow children to pick up vegetables, this is like getting them used to the whole idea of vegetables.
- Children love sandwiches so you could try inserting a tomato slice, or carrots and cucumbers in them to make it healthy
- Pasta with vegetables also tastes yummy and is a good way to get children to eat vegetables while they eat their favourite food.
- Children love variety and novelty so get them to making a salad along with you using colourful vegetables. You could also get them to make tacos with their own favourite vegetable and cheese filling.
- Make it a point to serve vegetables for children every day. They get used to eating it and will ask you if they do not find it on the table the next day.
- A vegetable cake with carrots and pumpkin also helps increase intake of vegetables in children.
- Children love outdoor activities; you could take their help and involve them in the kitchen garden.
- When you are making soup or noodles you could add frozen vegetables or spinach to make it taste good as well as get children to eat vegetables.
- Pizza is always a delicacy among children; you could try adding chopped broccoli or spinach to the pizza topping to make it an interesting and healthy meal.
Inculcating healthy habits in children is the responsibility of parents. Just like we train our kids to imbibe good values and have an all round personality, getting them to eat a balanced diet with vegetables is all about making it a habit. By being a good role model, parents can eventually get even the fussy kids to eat healthy.