How do you get kids to eat their veggies? Here are six fun things we do at home:
1. Fun Shapes. We love to have fun with food! Instead of putting a bowl of broccoli and carrots on the table, why not try a broccoli tree? Get the kids involved in making it! When we did this, they were so excited to eat that tree that it didn’t matter if broccoli and carrots weren’t their favorite vegetable.
Or instead of just serving sweet potatoes, how much more fun is it to eat Bear Claws!!
2. Dips. Another way to add fun and flavor is to serve vegetables with dip. Our favorites are hummus, Ranch, cheese dips, Greek Yogurt or sour cream onion dip. For special occasions we love fondue! But if all else fails try catchup!
3. The one bite rule. I don’t believe in making children eat a full helping of something that they really don’t like, but we always have our kids eat one bite of everything served for a meal. We’ve found that so many times they figure out they really like it. Recently Little Jason was refusing to taste a bite. “Its yucky. I don’t like it,” he kept saying. Finally, after trying a bite I asked him again if he liked it. “Yes, it’s yummy!”
4. Be the example. Nothing teaches our kids better than our own example. My husband is passionate about healthy eating and my kids know it. They love him. They want to be like him, so they try to like things that are healthy even when they might not have originally liked it. Me? I need to work on this one! 🙂
5. Personification. With our little ones it always works when the veggies start talking. “Don’t eat me. Don’t eat me!” I guess there is the old reverse psychology here too!
6. Rewards. At the end of the day (or meal I should say) my kids know that if they don’t eat their food or at least take a bite of everything then they won’t be enjoying dessert with the rest of us! The sight of everyone else enjoying dessert afterward usually moves our stragglers to finish their food!
What works for you?