When kids are exposed to potato chips, candy bars, and chocolate cookies, it’s easy for them to ignore the more nutritious vegetable meals. Even when compared to meat products such as chicken and hotdogs, vegetables won’t get picked. So, what should you do when kids do not like to eat vegetables?
1) Know When Your Kids Get Hungry
On average, children tend to get hungry every four hours. Apart from the three meals, your kids will likely search for snacks at least two times a day. Instead of having junk foods available for them to grab, you can fill your refrigerator with healthy foods such as buttered carrots and corn and coleslaw.
2) Cook the Same Meals for the Whole Family
When you have kids, it’s common to divide the meals so that they can eat whatever they want. However, it’s much better to plan for everyone instead. Your kids can still pick from whatever meals you’ve prepared, but they might just take a spoonful of vegetables. After all, children tend to replicate what their parents do.
3) Avoid Enforcing Rules on Them
We don’t recommend being verbally harsh on your kids. Apart from the fact that your kids will likely do the opposite, forcing them might impact how they listen to you in the future. The option you have is to prepare nutritious and balanced meals. You can leave positive and neutral comments, but negative ones are discouraged.
4) Introduce Vegetables One at a Time
Apart from ordering them to eat vegetables, you should not immediately replace all meals with vegetables all at once. Let your kids take their time to get used to each new vegetable meal. In time, they will get curious enough to try one of them. You can also make them want to eat vegetables by saying how their favorite cartoon or superhero is strong because of what they eat.
5) Add a Little Bit of Sweetness
Kids are mostly used to sweet and salty food. Instead of making them eat plain carrots, you can coat it with brown sugar to give it a sweet taste. As the years pass by, they will be able to eat the same vegetables without the added syrup, sugar, or butter.
6) Encourage Kids to Cook with You
Children are used to just eating and then leaving immediately after. To change this, you can ask them if they’d like to prepare a meal with your help. Your kids can help in choosing the vegetables, putting them in the pan, or simply washing the salad greens. By doing this, you will help the kids understand the whole process needed to prepare what they eat. Hopefully, this will make them value what you feed them.
7) Let Them Plant Vegetables
Apart from cooking vegetables, they can also appreciate vegetables if they know where they came from. You can teach them to grow some kind of vegetables including peas and cabbages. For one, peas can be grown inside the hose using newspaper, pots, compost, and the seeds. Once they’ve grown up, the peas can be moved outside the garden. Soon, your kids can see them grow around trellises. When the flowers appear, they can pick them up to be cooked later.
Likewise, cabbages are also a good vegetable to grow with kids. Once planted in the garden, your kids can see how the cabbages grow from being incredibly small vegetables to large cabbage heads in just about three months. Finally, they can harvest them to prepare some coleslaw.
Here is a video about growing cabbages:
8) Use Stickers
If all else fails, you can create a reward system. Every month, you will identify the vegetables that they try. They don’t have to eat everything, but they must get a spoonful of it. For every vegetable, they get a cute sticker. Once they’ve collected many stickers, the kids can convert them into a prize, such as toys or drawing supplies. In the long run, they’ll get used to eating vegetables even without expecting a reward.
In conclusion, you have to be patient and creative if you want your kids to eat vegetables. Don’t force them to eat, and you should let them try vegetables it one at a time. We hope that our guide helped you and your kids to have healthy, nutritious meals. If you have any questions, feel free to gives us a comment.
I’m Ann, I have dedicated most of my life in gardening. This is a subject I enjoy the most. I have been a fan of flowers and plants ever since I was a kid.