Eat Your Veggies…Please!
For most kids, their favorite veggie is….french fries. While fries are indeed made of a vegetable, the potato is not generally considered to have high nutritional value. And when deep fried, potatoes really don’t make for the best choice of veggies. In fact, even the French are amazed at the fascination of American children (and adults!) with our freedom fries. So how can parents help their children make better vegetable choices that are more nutritious as well?
For children under 5 years of age, the presentation of food is everything. Rather than just placing food directly on their plate, have your children experiment with vegetables by preparing the veggie side dishes alongside with you. Have them help them to “cut” or shape their veggies and arrange them on his/her plate.
You can also let your children shop at the grocery store and pick out their own vegetables. This gives them a bit of “independence” and ownership of their choice of vegetables. This tactic will also help them be excited when they get home to try their new veggie out.
Another helpful hint is to serve up the veggies first as an appetizer at dinnertime. Pair them a dip such as hummus or a tasty dressing. Without any extra options, your child will be forced to at least try the crudité (raw vegetables).
So, don’t give up after your child’s first rejection of veggies. Just think of interesting ways to bring the seasonable veggies to your children. Together, you will eventually find the veggies that fascinate your child!