Every parent wants their kids to enjoy eating vegetables. At present vegetables served to kids are hidden in cereal bars, tater tots or pureed fruit-and-veggie pouches. Because of this, kids are not given the opportunity to experience the vegetables in their actual form, taste, and texture as well as much of the nutrition. What they learn to eat are deep frying oils and fruit sugars.
According to Dr. Natalie Muth, a pediatrician in Carlsbad, Calif., and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“The goal in raising healthy eaters is to help them learn to like and prefer healthy foods.”
Furthermore, Dr. Nimali Fernando, a pediatrician in Virginia and founder of the nonprofit Doctor Yum Project, says that:
“A lot of parents feed their kids what food companies are telling them is kid food, and not realizing those food choices may be impacting their kids’ health.”
We must be aware that poor eating habits have been linked to various health problems such as obesity, gastrointestinal issues, behavioral challenges, and other health problems.
Here are some of the tips to get your kids on board with real vegetables:
Children who are quite young should be familiarized with the taste of vegetables. It would be great if you would be making home-made purees with vegetables, herbs, and a bit of olive oil.
Eat Dinner Together
Regular family dinners with children create a positive and engaging atmosphere. The kids tend to consume fewer fried foods and sodas and more fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Fernando says that:
“Kids are pretty good at knowing how much food they need to eat in order to grow. The best things we can do as parents are to offer a variety of foods on a regular basis.”
You can provide them with healthy choices such as bowls of cherry tomatoes or chopped carrots.
Make Hearty Salads
Children would love vegetable salads with exciting flavors and textures. Dressings made of vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of honey with added cheeses, raisins, nuts, and wheat croutons will surely be loved by your kids. You can also make a salad with cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Make Vegetables Taste Good
Surely, kids are not a fan of plain flavorless vegetables. You can try numerous dishes made from cooked vegetables, olive oil, and different herbs. Don’t worry if your kids get more veggies for the rest of the day. In fact, one average serving for a child will provide between 3-4 servings of vegetables.
Don’t Spoil Their Appetites
Avoid giving your kids with snacks in the after-school hours because there’s a big possibility that they will have no room left for the real meal. They are more eager to eat whatever you put in the table if they are truly hungry. But it would be better if you have an early family dinner.
Count On Vegetables That They Like
Kids have their own favorite vegetables, which you can serve most often. Introducing or incorporating different vegetables is recommended but you don’t have to worry if your kids opt for specific veggies.