I’m sure many would say that I got it lucky. I have a child who eats vegetables. Actually, not just eats them but asks for them!
Many times I have been asked the question ‘how do you get your child to eat vegetables?', a question quickly followed by the ‘you’re so lucky you got one like that’ statement.
So how did I get one like that? I actually don’t know. In fact I have often pondered how you end up with a child who doesn’t enjoy eating a variety of vegetables. But here are a few ideas that come to mind:
- Expect your child to eat vegetables and to like them. Don’t set your kids up to fail with statements like ‘don’t put many vegies on her plate, she won’t eat them’ or ‘you can try it, but you probably won’t like it’.
- Offer a variety of vegetables and textures – raw, steamed, mashed, fried. Vary the texture and type of vegetables offered. After all, who wants to eat just carrots and peas at every meal?
- Keep offering – taste buds change and mature. Just because your child does not like something now, does not mean they will never like it. That will be the case however, if they aren’t given time to develop an appreciation of different vegetables.
- Don’t make food the battleground. Appetites come and go. If your child is not hungry at this meal or chooses not to eat a particular food, then so be it. Insisting your child eat everything on their plate is a sure way to make its contents disliked on sight.
- Don’t offer an alternative. If they choose not to eat their vegetables, or in fact anything at all, don’t panic. They will not starve themselves. Keep offering the good stuff – referring to the first three points as you do.
- Get them involved – in the growing, shopping and cooking of vegetables. Give them a sense of control over what they are eating and excite their minds about the wonderful super powers of vegetables!
- Hang in there! It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen – 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.