Getting kids to eat their veggies (and still talk to you)
Over the long course of history, there are parents who have actually had success in getting veggies eaten! Here are some tips on how they managed to get up to five serves into little bellies and lived to tell the tale.
As you know kids will pick up on every little thing you do (obviously a concern at times.) The same goes for what you eat. Kids are more likely to accept veggies if they see them around the place, and more importantly see you eating them. The more side salads, stir-fries or curries they see, the more likely it is they will just think veggies are part of life as opposed to some evil plot devised by parents.
If the only snacks on offer at house include some veggies like dips and sandwiches, there’s a fairly good chance your kids will start reaching for them. This is especially true if they look as colourful and interesting as the unhealthy snacks tend to.
Appoint them sous chef
Some parents have great success involving their kids in meal planning – asking the kids to pick which veggies to include, how they should be cooked and what they should be served with. Like us, they more likely to respond well if they have been involved in the decision-making. You may sadly have to point out that donuts are not a vegetable though.
See our recipes with tips on the parts where kids can contribute to the cooking:
Shiny and new
Trying to get your kids to eat the same veggies, cooked the same way, day after day, will end in tears for both you and them. So, it might be worth presenting the veg in different ways. If nothing else this will make them curious, which is mighty helpful as kids tend to need to try a food 10 times before they accept it…. suspicious little things.
Don’t tell them
The simplest way to get your kids to eat all the veggies you want to is not to tell them what they are eating. There are so many recipes out there now that help you hide veggies in food like zucchini pasta, bolognese filled with carrots or cauliflower mash. This is not cheating. This is smart! It means you know they are getting their daily dose, without the tantrums!
Educate them early!
We all disliked veggies when we were young, but I can bet the majority of us live for them now! That’s because we know how vital they are, and they make us feel good about ourselves. Telling the little ones that veggies make us strong and mighty will help encourage them to start early… who else believed carrots made you see in the dark?
Your little ones are going to be just fine whilst you work out how to get them to eat their veggies. We hope the above limits the stress and the amount of broccoli that ends up on the ceiling.