What’s the difference between boogers and broccoli? Kids eat their boogers! This is not exactly what most parents want to hear, but it is never the less a true statement. As soon as a child learns that something is good for them (which boogers aren’t), they tend to turn up their nose and demand something different or claim they just aren’t hungry. Magically, that hungers emerges as soon as the vegetables are gone!
Getting children to eat healthy isn’t as hard as it seems. There are a few tips and tricks you can use that will not only make it easier for you to have your children eating vegetables at dinner time, but can even have them requesting dishes you never thought they would touch. Use some of the tips below to encourage your children to eat healthy.
Grow a garden. If you create a garden and allow children to plant their own vegetables they may be proud o show them off and eat them themselves. Not only are you encouraging your children to eat healthy using this method, but they are also getting fresh air, sunshine, exercise and developing life skills with this one simple task.
Get creative with your vegetables. My child thinks he doesn’t eat cauliflower. Not only does he eat it, but he and the rest of his non-vegetable eating friends do as well. Boil cauliflower long enough to make it soft, then drain and add butter. Mash the cauliflower until it looks like mashed potatoes. If you need to thicken it up a bit, add instant mashed potatoes. Kids think they are eating mashed potatoes instead of cauliflower!
Let them pick what they eat. Sometimes not eating vegetables is just a matter of control. Children like to have a say in what they eat. Give them a selection of vegetables to choose from so that they can feel like they have some control over the situation.
Hide it. Almost every parent on the planet has hidden vegetables in their children’s food. The trick is to use vegetables that blend with the rest of the meal or have mellow tastes so that the flavor doesn’t readily stand out. For instance, if your child hates carrots, shred some and mix the carrots with cheddar cheese that you are serving on something, whether it be a baked potato or a piece of chicken.
Candy the vegetables. I could cook mud pies in brown sugar and butter and my son would eat it! Almost any vegetable can be candied by cooking it in real butter and brown sugar. This syrupy concoction hides the true flavor of the vegetable and encourages children to eat it. Pure brown sugar is also healthier than granulated sugar. If you use all organic butter, brown sugar and vegetables, you’re sure to have a healthy treat!
As you can see, learning how to get children to eat their vegetables is all about approach and the appeal factor. If you can attract the children to the vegetable in some way, they are sure to want to try it. Once they try it, they may find that they actually enjoy it!