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Kids and Vegetables - Getting them to not only eat them but LOVE them!
"Ewwww those are green, NO WAY!"
Perhaps you have heard this from your children before? You may simply think this is the norm with children because this was how you were when you were little. There is a trick to this mystery between kids and vegetables and getting them to not only eat them but love them! There are in fact several techniques you can try until you find one which works best for your particular children. If you don't have children yet, this is a great way to start them young.
Before we discuss ways to do this, first let's talk a little about the importance of eating vegetables. As parents we all realize the vitamins and nutrients found in eating a good daily dose of veggies but understanding what kind of vegetables are good and which are not is also important.
I won't go into an entire list of healthy vegetables in this article. Suffice it to say, the important thing to consider are fresh and often raw veggies are the best. Especially dark greens such as kale, broccoli and so forth. Unfortunately, too many American's pop open cans of mushy veggies and expect their kids to eat them. The thing is these canned, prepackaged items are not only loaded with preservatives but most have lost their nutritional value and that is before they are heated on the stove - or worse - the microwave.
That's not to say it isn't understandable busy parents don't have a lot of time to cook dinner but there are many frozen alternatives which are much better for children than canned goods. Unless of course they are fresh and canned in your home.
So before you consider shoveling another mushy green been into your kids frowny face, consider some of these fun alternatives to getting them to eat those greens and things!
Tomatoes contain lycopene which are renowned for fighting cancer and free radicals. They contain an abundant source of vitamins A to K and help keep blood pressure in check. Even tomato based sauces and recipes are good!
Broccoli is packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene which all helps boost immunity to colds and flus. Broccoli will also help reduce certain cancers such as stomach, lung and rectal cancers.
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables your child can consume. This is because it is loaded with nearly every vitamin and provides an excellent source of nutrition. Spinach also helps prevent colon cancer, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis.
- SWEET POTATO
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C, A as well as manganese. They provide your child with a great source of energy and iron as well as fiber.
Kale is one of the most healthy leafy greens out there! It is super high in beta carotene, calcium and vitamins K and C. Kale is known to boost DNA repair and block the growth of cancer cells.
Make a Veggie Tray!
When it comes to our kids and vegetables, the most immediate way to earn their attention is to create fun and wacky conversations with their meal! To do this you can come up with creative ideas to make eating a fun and enjoyable experience.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Make shapes, animals and pictures out of the veggies!
- Create a tray with a ton of selection
- Allow your child to participate in a "make your own salad" salad bar night!
- Hide the veggies by chopping them up finely and adding them to soups, pasta dishes, etc.
The more fun you have with this, the more your child will open up to the idea. They will love it so much they will want to eat their vegetables just to have the experience again! Children are entirely open to experiences. If you approach dinner time with a stern and no nonsense manner, chances are they will rebel against the pile of greens and refuse to eat.
By creating a fun atmosphere for them to try new things, you will be surprised at the response you receive! Chances are they will find new ways to eat their own vegetables and the entire family can have a great time enjoying a meal rather than battling it out!
A Healthy Salad Bar Night
If you are a new parent, you are in luck because the best way to introduce your children to a healthy diet is to begin young! So many parents tend to allow children to be picky eaters which often results in a lack of interest in veggies. Insuring your child has a great first experience is also important. If you give your child a piece of Kale, for example, they most likely will not enjoy the initial texture or bland taste. If you take them on a walk through a garden, however and pick little pieces of this and that, you will be amazed at how responsive they are to the adventure of eating what is grown from the earth.
If gardening is not an option for your family, take the to a local farmer market and taste test the varieties of locally grown foods. Your child will relate to what you have taught them rather than the forceful option of "having" to eat their veggies.
If you set an example by taste testing many different products of the earth, your children will think it is the most natural and typical thing to eat. You must be the leader in this lifelong adventure of diet. Make it fun and give them a sense of ownership when it comes to what they are eating. Allow them to explore the variety of grown items, whether they are picking out the veggies in the grocery store, helping you cook or simply taking a stroll through the garden!
Check out these other great hubs!
- Healthy Diets and Cruciferous Vegetables
How and why to include cruciferous vegetables into a healthy diet. The cruciferous vegetables cancer benefits, along with cruciferous vegetables and thyroid problems are also discussed. Watch the videos!
- Add Nutrition to Everyday Meals with Healthy Vegetables
Do you need to eat more vegetables? These are some of my tips for adding nutrition to meals by incorporating healthy vegetables into your favorite dishes and side dishes.
- Easy & Healthy Basic Green Tossed Salad Recipe
Lettuce and other green leafy vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Lettuce, the main ingredient of any basic tossed salad along with all the other leafy green vegetables not only contain vitamin A, C, beta-carotene, and fiber but...
- 10 Healthy Snacks for Nibblers
Where do you go when you get a craving for a snack? If you'd like some ideas for healthier choices, check out this hub article!