Super Mom - Getting Our Kids to Eat Their Veggies
Getting kids to eat their vegetables is no small feat in and of itself. It's even harder to get them to eat vegetables that have that strange tint to them....you know, that color we call green. Yeah, that's the one - the one they turn their noses up to and gag at the thought of. But we're savvy, super Moms, so we're going to nip this in the bud and get smart with how we get those much needed veggies into our kids diets. Here are a couple tips to revolutionize the way you start getting veggies into your kids this year.
Cover them with butter, salt, cheese - whatever you have to do (as long as it's not bad for them), top those bad boys with some sort of goodness to tempt your kids into eating them. My favorite is some delicious melted cheddar on top of some lightly steamed broccoli. Cheese always seems to make everything better anyway, right?
Kids love dip, period. If there's dip around, it's like my kids can smell it from a mile away. They hone in on it and devour anything they can dip. The only real issue I've had with this, is that my kids want to lick the dip off of the veggies and keep re-dipping. That's a flat out "nuh-uh." Tell your kids like it is - either they eat the whole veggie or no dip at all. It usually works quite well.
Mix up some peas, broccoli or steamed spinach into that macaroni and cheese. It's a great way to add some good nutrients to a food that children will want to devour. Mixing vegetables into their favorite dishes, is a great way to get kids to eat them.
Still having trouble at this point? Well, if you've got a blender, then you're in luck. Blenders are amazing things, handed down from ages past to make our lives as Moms easier. Kids usually love smoothies, so start blending up some greens into some fun smoothie concoctions. Spinach and other leafy greens go great with some sweet fruits, carrots, juices, and a little honey. You can also blend up some veggies and add them into breads, soups, chili, spaghetti sauce and a plethora of other foods that children like and will never be any wiser that there are vegetables present.
This is by far one of the best ways to encourage children to eat their vegetables. If you can grow some of your own greens, and have the kids participate in helping, then they will be so excited to eat them. I'm unsure why this is, but my kids will actually eat raw green beans and collards from the garden, but they turn their noses up to frozen green beans from the store.
Even if you don't have a lot of space to start a garden, you might try a few pots in your kitchen, or use some of those awesome hanging gutter ideas that can be readily found on Pinterest!
Be Creative With Them
Kids like fun and interesting new things, so if you're still struggling, it may be time to get really creative....ie. let them play with their food. Let the children make little art creations on a plate with their veggies. Brocolli can be trees, while carrots can be used to make a teepee. Celery with peanut butter, peas, and a triangle of cheese can be a sail boat. Jelly can be painted onto leafy greens for a pretty, eatable canvas. A pepper can be cut and shaped into an octopus that sits on top of dip (there's that dip idea again). A rainbow of various veggies can be displayed on a plate. Kids are very visual, so appeal to this sense while you're trying to encourage some healthier eating.
Never Force Them
Encouraging (but not demanding) your children to try everything on their plates at least once will instill a natural curiosity and desire to try new foods without creating any lasting traumatic meal-time memories. And, when they are really hungry, kids will eat, so be sure and have some tasty and healthy veggies for them!