This question is from a mom who was at the end of her rope because her 6-year old daughter refused to eat most vegetables. She would eat broccoli, green peas, and celery, but no other vegetables.
Eating vegetables is mandatory if we want to stay healthy and poop every day. Vegetables have minerals, vitamins, micronutrients, and fiber that our bodies need to stay happy.
I refused most vegetables while I was growing up. I mentioned before that I was a terrible picky eater (and I am still working on myself). When my mom would make borscht or soup with lots of veggies, I would push them to the side of my bowl and eat only the liquid.
My kids are better eaters than I was at their age (and even when I was in my early 20s). I applied the same methods which helped my two children enjoy eating vegetables to myself as well and so far they worked well for all 3 of us.
Here are 7 of my favourite tips to help your child eat more vegetables. They work for both kids and adults who dislike vegetables.
1. The one-bite rule. Many kids refuse vegetables without tasting them, just by seeing them. A low-pressure approach is to ask them to try one bite of the vegetables you offer. Stress that they won’t have to eat more, but one bite is mandatory so that they decide for themselves whether they really don’t like it or whether they refuse it because this is what they are used to.
2. Add vegetables to your baking.
My Zucchini Muffins recipe is an easy and tasty snack rich in zucchini.
3. Add vegetables to smoothies.
4. Add a bit of sea salt and coconut oil to steamed or roasted vegetables. Unsalted vegetables can be bland, but a bit of sea salt and coconut oil makes their flavour pop.
5. Use homemade mayo or ketchup as a dip for raw vegetables. I say homemade as many of the store-bought versions have too many ingredients that are usually unhealthy.
6. Consider trying different methods of preparing the same vegetable. For example, my daughter is indifferent to mashed potatoes. My son loves them. However, both of them love oven-baked potatoes French fries. Regular potatoes or sweet potatoes are winners in their books if they are cut as fries and baked.
7. Keep offering vegetables every day, but don’t force your child to eat them. Forcing them does not build healthy eating habits. Children should eat vegetables because they enjoy eating them, not because they are coerced into doing so. The ways I talked about above (and in parts 2 and 3) are some of the ways to help your child like (and even love, why not?) eating vegetables.
Did you find these tips useful? Do you want to read the next 2 parts? Here they are:
Take action! Choose 1 or 2 tips and apply them in your family. Then please come back here and tell me how it went.
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