Getting your kids to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables seems like it’s something that most parents struggle with. Most parents know how important it is but, it’s still a challenge with young children who are often picky eaters. I’m definitely not an expert in this area but, there are a few things that we do and that I’ve heard other moms mention that can help kids eat more veggies.
1. Start them early. Make your child’s baby food and make it healthy. If a baby is used to eating healthy foods from an early age, the chances of them continuing to eat healthy are greater. I make some of Paisley’s baby food and I know that it’s healthier for her to be eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. Make it fun. When you’re in the produce section with your child, let them pick out some vegetables that look good to them. Let them choose fun colors or other things that they think look appetizing.
3. Let your child help you cook the vegetables If you cook something with your kids, the chances are more likely that they’ll want to try it. Everyone likes to taste test, right?
4. Offer a variety of colors and choices. Eating a variety of colors is not only healthy but, it’s also fun! Talk about what colors the vegetables are and taste the different colors.
5. One word, dip! Let your child dip his or her vegetables in whatever dip they prefer. We like hummus, ranch, BBQ sauce and ketchup. Dipping can be fun and let’s face it, it also helps veggies taste better!
6. Hide the vegetables. Make a spaghetti sauce with lots of shredded veggies in it or put carrots in Macaroni and Cheese. Add pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes or put zucchini in your lasagna. Really, the possibilities for hiding veggies is endless.
7. Make a smoothie! Make a smoothie and add avocado, cooked carrots, tomatoes. Also add lots of strawberries and pineapple and the taste of the vegetables will be covered up. My two year old thinks a smoothie is a major treat!
8. Tell your child about the wonderful things that vegetables do for him. For example, carrots make your eyes stronger. If you teach your child about the healthy benefits, they may be more inclined to eat the veggies.
9. Grow your own vegetables! Let your child experience the joy of growing his own food. Go out and pick the fresh produce together and then cook it together. Even better, eat it right then and there in the garden. It doesn’t get much better than that!
10. Bake with vegetables. We bake healthy muffins and add lots of shredded carrots and shredded zucchini. It makes the muffins moist and delicious!
I think most parents struggle with getting their children to eat enough veggies. Although it’s challenging, the good news is that there are many things to try to make healthy eating easier. As a mom, I know that it’s a daily battle but, if I’m intentional about feeding my family healthy, I can succeed.
*****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.