It’s a question that stumps parents near and far. For some curious reason, our children seem to be born with a natural distaste for greens — which has been called both a product of nature and nurture.
But don’t fret! Here’s a list of tactics that you can try at home to ensure that your kids get their essential nutrients. Perhaps you can convince your kids that their leafy greens are yummy, or at least get them to consume their own veggies instead of feeding them to the family dog.
1. Follow this clever parent’s lead.
2. Start sweet.
Your kids may not appreciate the bitter greens yet, but they will likely enjoy the sweeter veggies that still nourish their bodies with important minerals and vitamins. Have your children try these out for taste:
- Sweet potato
- Potato (best eaten with skin)
3. Smoothies & soups.
Who knew veggies could look this good? Mix veggies with fruits, and go wild with these creative recipes for serving veggies to your kids.
Left: Beet Berry Smoothie. Middle: Cauliflower Cheese Soup. Right: Carrot Orange Smoothies.
Bonus tip: keep your kids guessing about what’s in these concoctions and simply leave them to savor these yummy treats.
4. Veggies for dessert!
Condition your children’s taste palettes by treating them with these veggie-based desserts. Though we don’t suggest replacing veggies entirely with these baked goods, these treats will help your child get used to the flavors.
Left: Carrot Cake. Middle: Zucchini Sandwich Cookies. Right: White Bean Blondies.
5. Fun food games.
If your child loves playing make-believe, make a game out of eating veggies! Play pretend as dinosaurs that need to eat their plants (broccoli, celery, etc.) to stay alive, or create a contest where the person who finds the Elmo on the table and eats its nose wins!
Source: D. Rockow on Pinterest
6. Veggie crafts.
Have your kids express their creativity through the colorful roots in front of them. If your kids love a good competition, transform a veggies art class into a friendly contest!
6. Positive reinforcement.
Amid all these tips and tricks, one of the most effective ways of getting your kids to eat their veggies is by leading by example and rewarding good behavior. That means that whenever your kids do muster the courage to eat their greens, you shouldn’t let it go unnoticed. Praise them and consider giving them an occasional reward — and no, that doesn’t mean candy. Try a fun picnic at the park or a day trip to the zoo — any inexpensive treat that gets them wanting to eat veggies more in the future.