We all know vegetables are good for us, but try explaining it to a grumpy, tired toddler… “I don’t like it.” Enough said. The best way to teach kids to eat veggies is to eat them yourself. Serve veggies with every family meal, offer them to your child, but if they say ‘no’ don’t force it. Your kids want to be like you. Sooner or later, they’ll be tempted to try what you’re having and then try it again. It takes 10-15 exposures to acquire a taste for a certain food. In the meantime, here are some sneaky ways to get a daily dose of veggies into your kids without them even knowing it:
- Add grated or blended veggies to cooked meals. Grated zucchini, carrots, cauliflower or yellow squash are easy to hide in pasta sauces, lasagne, tacos, casseroles and meatloaves.
- Mix some cauliflower into your mashed potato.
- Add small pieces of veggies to pizza and cover with cheese.
- Sneak in a handful of spinach into your fruit smoothies.
- Make your own ice blocks from fruit juice combined with blended veggies. Kids love anything frozen, especially when it’s their very own “ice-cream”.
- Use veggies when you’re baking. Carrots and pumpkin are naturally sweet and can be added to cakes and muffins.
- Spread a thin layer of avocado instead of butter on sandwiches.
- What child doesn’t like chips? Make oven-baked sweet potato chips instead of deep-fried potato ones.
- Try making kale chips. The kids will love the crunchy texture. Season with lemon and your chips won’t even taste like real veggies.
- Play with your presentation. If you arrange the food on the plate in the shape of a smiley face or a cuddly teddy bear, your child may just get curious enough to eat it.
Finally, have fun in the kitchen and experiment. Involve your kids, too. You’ll end up with a bunch of new healthy recipes that the whole family will love.
Image via Junior Libby via PublicDomainPictures.net
By Tatiana Apostolova