Vegetables provide a great deal of important nutrients for our children. They help in development of the muscles and brain. Vegetables also keep the skin looking and feeling healthy. Teaching kids to eat vegetables is one of the road blocks that parents often run into. It isn’t as difficult as it is made out to be. Even parents who don’t make a regular habit of eating vegetables themselves can teach their children better habits.
Here are some tips to help you encourage your children to eat their veggies:
The best way to get your children to eat vegetables throughout their lives is to start them young. Your child will be accustomed to eating them if you feed it to them while they are still babies. Making eating time fun for baby by using the old “airplane” method is a great way to start. Some customs shouldn’t be left behind and this is one of them. When your child sees how much fun it is to eat his/her veggies, he/she will form the habit of wanting to eat them. Creating lifelong habits in your child begins when he/she is little.
Lead By Example
Children want to do what their parents do. If your child sees that you don’t like vegetables, he/she will automatically think that there is something wrong with eating them. Even if you have to pretend as though you like your vegetables, you must eat them and you must show your child that you like the taste. It could even lead to you finding out that you like them.
Playing With Their Food
Parents spend a great deal of time trying to get kids to stop playing with their food. That may be the wrong approach. Allow your children to play games with their vegetables. You could make it a counting game. “How many peas are on your plate?” Each time the child gives you the answer, have them eat one then ask how many are left. This is a great way to encourage eating vegetables and teaches them counting and subtraction.
Don’t Give Up
You may have some problems in the initial phases of trying to teach your child good eating habits. Don’t give up on it though. It is important to encourage lifelong good eating habits in your children. If your child doesn’t like one vegetable, try another. Vegetables can have a very sweet taste to them. Things such as green beans or carrots are great starters for most babies. Peas are great finger foods for toddlers. Children love sweet tasting things. This works in your favor for some vegetables. The most important thing is to find the vegetables that your child will eat. Just because he/she won’t eat one thing doesn’t mean that vegetables can’t be in his/her diet. It takes a little bit of imagination sometimes.
This is an old standby that works great for kids. Yes, it is okay to sometimes bribe your child. Let your child know that if he/she eats his/her carrots, he/she can have a special treat for dessert. Kids will often fall for this trick because they are winning a prize at the end. When your child has gotten used to eating his/her vegetables because of your bribery, you won’t have to encourage them this way at all. They will automatically eat the vegetables because they will associate it with a reward. They just won’t realize why they have come to love vegetables so much.
Eating vegetables is a very important part of a child’s diet. You should encourage this type of behavior for the physical and mental well-being of the children. Vegetables often get a bad rap. Do your child a huge favor and encourage them to eat their vegetables.