Kids do not generally like veggies, especially the green stuff. Getting them to eat it at times may feel like a fight. You know that without taking in their veggies they will be deficient in vital nutrients to their growth and development. As a parent or nanny, you are forever looking for ways to make a variety of vegetables available and appreciated by the kids. Here are some Georgetown Nanny recommended tricks to add to your bag:
Lead by Example
You have to show that vegetables are fun to eat by heaping them on yourself. You can start by putting more on your plate and encouraging the children to share what you are eating.
Let the kids help in preparing the meal. It could be something as simple as washing the carrots. Kids will feel more in control and like to taste what they helped prepare. Give children more control by allowing them to choose a unique vegetable for dinner at the grocery store. They can pick a different one for each day.
Kids love color. Fortunately, vegetables come in lots of different colors. Experiment with a wide variety and take note what is liked. Food texture is often a concern for children. Try veggies raw, blanched and some cooked a little softer. Try adding fruits to the mix to make it even more interesting.
Add a Favorite Hero
Do you remember Popeye? Many of us older folks ate our spinach because of him! Tell your child the benefits of eating vegetables and let them discuss what vegetables they think give strengths or heightened abilities to their favorite superheros. This is an age old trick that has worked to create micro heroes over generations.
Get Some Help
If your child has a friend who has a healthy appetite, get them to eat together frequently. Ask the friend to challenge your child to finish up the veggies possibly for a reward of a healthy snack or a special game. Your child should develop their own appreciation for different fruits and vegetables over time.
Make the Plate Attractive
Putting everything together and hoping for the best may not work very well for children who do not like to see new foods on their plate. Make the vegetable plate visually interesting by making designs or faces. Small portions of different foods on different sections of the plate will look better and can be finished off faster making the child feel less overwhelmed.
Use Incentives and Keep Trying
Kids can take time to get used to new food. Encourage them to try the new foods in different settings and seasoned different ways. Its best to try one new food at a time to make sure there are no signs of allergies.
Be happy with the few bites your child takes. Don’t force a child to eat vegetables. You don’t want them to form a negative opinion of any food. Just introduce it a different way another day and view each small bite as a nutritional success!