Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 tips and tricks to get your kids to eat more vegetables

I have written several articles in the past year on my blog about healthy eating, but I have not written a post directed towards trying to get your children to eat more healthy. We all know how important eating our daily fruits and vegetables are to our bodies, but convincing our children this is why they should eat them is a total different story! At a young age they don't care about the facts and only the taste of their food. So I'm going to share my top 10 tips and tricks to get your kids to eat more veggies!

1. Be an example: Before you can expect your kids to opt for carrot sticks over potato chips the parents must be setting the right example for healthy eating themselves.

2. Baby steps: If you have never fed your children veggies but the usual corn and peas at dinner and an occasional green salad don't expect them to want to eat every veggie on the first try. Try one new veggie a week and you can even let them pick it out at the store. If they are more involved in the purchasing of veggies they will be more apt to trying them out.

3. Keep trying: Don't give up if they don't like a certain veggie. Serve it or cook it a different way the next time.

4. Hide them: This may sound horrible, but you can hide veggies in dishes and they won't know what they are eating! They won't eat raw spinach? Blend it into a fruit smoothie, top some on a homemade pizza or hide it in a cheese quesadilla. I guarantee they won't know it's in there and they'll gobble it right up!

5. Purchase books: Add cook books to your collection aimed towards healthy eating. Make it a goal to try one new dish a week that incorporates at least one new veggie.

6. Follow blogs: There are several great healthy eating blogs who share kid friendly recipes. This is a great way to get daily inspiration to your inbox each day.

7. Dips: Making homemade dips and humus are a great way to get your kids to eat raw veggies. I'm not fond of cheese covered or ranch dripped veggies just to get them to eat them. I think this defeats the purpose behind having your children eating healthy veggies. Next thing you know they won't eat any veggies unless they are served with a side of ranch dressing.

8. Cut out the sugar: I really believe that if you cut out a lot of the sugar your kids are consuming their taste buds will adapt to healthier foods and they will LOVE eating those veggies. Switch to other healthy sweeteners such as honey and focus on fruits for snacks.

9. Grow a garden: Kids that are involved in growing their own veggies will also be more interested in actual eating them! Don't get scared, you don't need to plant a huge garden. A few containers of plants on your patio will do. Google "container gardening" and you will find a wealth of information.

10. Veggie supplement: Lets face it, the majority of us don't eat enough veggies in our diets. I think it's important to also take a veggie supplement (available at health food stores often times in yummy gummy form!) to take up the slack. Remember though, this does not take the place of eating veggies daily and we should still strive to do our best.

I hope a few of these tips help you out. If you have any other tips please share with me as well!

About Peas and Thank You
Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. It's filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist—no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.” Sarah Matheny's delicious recipes and entertaining stories draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to her blog, each month, where she makes raising a vegetarian family easy and fun. She is the author of  “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.”


I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here


N.D. said...

I pre-ordered and got peas and thank you. I love the blog and the book. The tips are great. Right now I'm frustrated that my kids won't eat anything I make - even hidden!

Set Apart Living Mama said...

Great post!! Before I started eating healthy I never ate vegies. I'm thankful my son did (baby food) when I started losing weight I had to train my tastebuds and started eating tons of vegies even when I didn't like them (I love them now) My son wanted to eat everything I did. He is 5 now and rather eat vegies than mac and cheese I am a firm believer that we need to set the example at a VERY early age!

Dee said...

I can't agree more with letting your kids help with a garden or help prepare them. My kids love eating whatever THEY make!


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