Wednesday, April 10, 2013

3 Ways to get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Creativity might be the way to end my concern about how many vegetables my kids eat. They are great fruit eaters, it's the vegetables they don't completely trust. Here's the plan to introduce them to a greater variety of vegetables: 
Set a Good Example -  If more is caught than taught, my kids better catch me eating a lot of vegetables. I gladly do just that. We eat the same things for breakfast most days and we enjoy the same fruits. I am hoping that they will become more willing to try new vegetables. Some intentionality is needed on my part. I need to plan on introducing new vegetables and repeat it a couple of times until they pick up on the new habit.
Little Hands-On - The image of black beans spread on the kitchen table is forever sealed in my mind. I grew up being involved in the process of food preparation and I hope to pass on the same tradition to my children. The other day they helped me prepare black beans and cauliflower. They had fun but were not convinced they should eat those foods themselves. My long-term goal is to teach them how I cook these food so they will also attain healthy cooking skills.
Toddlers helping with beans. The baby actually likes her food,
she was just wondering why I take so many pictures.

Try a New Tactic: I read an interesting article online on how to introduce more vegetables to children's diets. The new tactic is to ask the kids to describe the new food: 
"Encourage your child to describe how any new vegetable or food tastes with descriptive words like slippery, crunchy, mushy, chewy, sweet, sour. Discourage other descriptive words like yucky, gross and other non-printable words. Make a game of seeing who can come up with the most descriptive words. Does it seem that your child prefers mushy textures? Then more mushy vegetables it is!" Roy Benaroch, MD I never thought of that! I will give it a try for sure

Some of the produce that quickly disappear from our household. 
My hope is to expose my children to a great variety of fruits and vegetables. I want my children to try natural foods from an early age so they can make educated choices in the future.
QUESTION: How do you introduce new vegetables to your children? Leave a comment with your best tips!

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