How To Introduce More Vegetables Into Your Child’s Diet
It can sometimes be hard to ensure your child gets enough vegetables in their diet, which is why many parents, knowing how important vegetables are for a child, tend to try to sneak them into meals stealthily so that the child has no idea they are eating something healthy.
Although this is good in terms of the nutrients they are getting, the fact that it’s done secretively means that the child never learns good eating habits; as they get older, their parents no longer make their food, they won’t include the hidden vegetables and their diets will suffer because of it. The best thing to do is to be upfront about the vegetables you are giving your child and ensure that they understand why they are good for them. Read on for ideas on how to do just that.
Make It Look Fun
Vegetables are pretty boring things when all is said and done. Compare a piece of broccoli or some carrots to the amusing potato shapes or spaghetti shapes you can get, and there’s really no competition. Children like to eat a plate of food that looks fun, not dull, so if you can jazz up your vegetables and make them part of the entire experience – visually as well as nutritionally – it can make a big difference.
It won’t take very much longer to create a picture with the food you’re serving. A sunrise, some animals, a beach scene; it depends on the food you’re serving, but there is always something fun you can do, and the children will be happier to eat everything when it’s served in this way.
Change The Texture
Some children aren’t averse to the taste of the vegetables, but they don’t enjoy their texture. They might prefer them much softer than you cook them, or they might prefer them crunchier. Just because you like to eat vegetables in a certain way doesn’t mean your child will be the same.
Talk through the different options and experiment with different ways of cooking the vegetables. Roast them for crunch and a deeper flavor, or steam them for softness and freshness. You can even juice vegetables (along with fruit for flavor) and serve them as a drink. In fact, this is becoming so popular that many people are opening their own juicing businesses, and they’ll use industrial juicers to do it. If that interests you, get it now and you’ll be able to juice as much as you need to. The point is, different textures might be the way to entice your child to eat more vegetables.
Add Vegetables To A Favorite Dish
If there is a dish your children already adore, such as pizza or spaghetti, why not add vegetables to it next time you serve it? The children will already be happy to have their favorite food and much more likely to try the new version than if you presented a dish they had never seen before that just happened to include a lot of vegetables. It might not be the vegetables themselves that are the issue, but the need to try new things.
Children can become very set in their ways, and a change to routine can upset them. So by only making a small change and not a big one, you are easing them into something else.