Getting Your Children to Eat Vegetables

Getting kids to eat vegetables may require some creative marketing, since they seem to be the most contested foods in households with young children. Here are some tips to help make your child into a veggie lover.

The Bite Rule

Use “The Bite Rule” to encourage a reluctant or picky eater. Ask your child to take at least three bites, or choose a number that is probably more than your child would choose on her own, but don’t go so far that you’re force-feeding her. The bite rule encourages your child to taste new foods, while still giving her some control over her own eating. This tool can be especially helpful when getting kids to eat vegetables that are new or unfamiliar.

Share It

If your child is going through a picky eater stage, invite a friend over who is the same age as your child, or slightly older who “likes to eat.” Your child will catch on. Group feeding allows your child to learn from other children’s positive example.

Dip It

Children (and adults) think that immersing foods in a tasty dip is pure fun, and delightfully messy. This trick is especially helpful when getting kids to eat vegetables more frequently. Some possibilities to dip into:

  • Cottage cheese or tofu dip
  • Cream cheese
  • Fruit juice-sweetened preserves
  • Guacamole
  • Peanut butter, thinly spread
  • Pureed fruits or vegetables
  • Yogurt, plain or sweetened with juice concentrate.

These dips serve equally well as spreads on apples or pear slices, bell-pepper strips, rice cakes, bagels, toast, and other nutritious platforms.

Package It

Appearance is important. For getting kids to eat vegetables, why not use your child’s own toy plates for dishing out a snack? Our kids enjoy the unexpected and fanciful when it comes to serving dishes. Anything from plastic measuring cups to ice-cream cones can be used to make trying healthy new foods fun.

Creative Cuts

Use a small cookie cutter to cut vegetables into interesting shapes. This is a fun way to eat vegetables!

Steam Your Greens

They are much more flavorful and usually sweeter than when raw.

Be Persistent!

Most children need to try a new food 10-15 times before they develop a taste for it, so make a point of introducing a new item multiples times. This is especially true in getting kids to eat vegetables and fruits they’ve never tried, or other unfamiliar items.

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