Clever Ways Parents Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables
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We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. But we sometimes need
some ideas to help get our kids to eat those vegetables. Here are some ideas.
- Let him grow it.
- Let her help you pick it out at the grocery store.
- Let him help you prepare it for eating. Young children can help shell
peas, pop beans, separate broccoli, and wash lettuce.
- Try serving it a different way. Serve it raw if you usually cook it,
lightly steamed if you usually serve it raw, perhaps even pureed in a soup.
- Find out which type of vegetable your child prefers—fresh, frozen, or
- Try serving it raw with a dip.
- Put Parmesan cheese or melted cheese on top.
- Give it a funny name.
- Serve it when she is hungry, not when she is filled up on other food.
- Seat him next to a child who loves vegetables and let peer pressure work
- Eat it yourself with obvious enjoyment.
- Do not assume he will never like it. Some children take longer than others
to feel comfortable with certain foods, so let it reappear occasionally
- Do not overcook vegetables. Overcooking causes any vegetable to lose
texture, color, flavor, and some valuable nutrients.
- Serve cooked vegetables in bite-sized pieces. Cut after cooking to
preserve the nutrients.
- Do not make the vegetable an issue. Avoid the clean plate club; it only makes children more determined not to eat the dreaded vegetable.
Karen Elliot, ElliottK@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Nutrition and Health Education
Jackson County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension