Ways to Get Kids to Eat their Fruits and Vegetables
Posted Apr 07 2011 5:52am
This is a fabulous guest post from Alexis Bonari. Moms's and Dad's this is for you and I hope you all will love to go through it.
If you have a child who gets excited by the idea of brussel sprouts for dinner and frozen grapes for dessert, then you've won the parental lottery. For the rest of us whose children shrink from any green foods like they're radioactive Kryptonite, it may seem like compromises that count fries as a vegetable are our only options. Fortunately, there are some tricks that can help parents be sure their kids are eating more fruits and vegetables.
Many times, kids are quick to reject any foods that are new or seem unusual. Try pairing fruits and veggies with old favorites, and add only one or two new foods into their diets each week. This will help them adapt to changes more easily.
Don't give up! Even if your kids don't love what they taste on the first try, the more you serve fruits and vegetables, the more accustomed they will become to them and the more willing they will be to try them.
Make them Accessible
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter so that when kids reach for a snack, they have healthy options available. Also have chopped vegetables on hand, which can be enjoyed with hummus or a tasty dip.Offering dips for fruits and vegetables -- or serving them with fondue -- can make them seem much more appealing.
Add them to Favorite Dishes
There are a number of ways that you can add fruits and vegetables to beloved dishes so that they go unnoticed (or aren't minded) by your kids. Try grating or chopping vegetables and adding them to soups,stews, casseroles, pastas, pot pie, pizza, quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, and much more. Fruits can be seamlessly added into smoothies, yogurt, cereals, muffins, breads, pies, and more.
Kids often react negatively to unfamiliar flavors or textures. It may be that they reject what you've offered because they don't like lumpy foods or foods that taste too bitter. Try introducing a variety of different fruits and vegetables -- different shapes, different colors, different textures, and so on -- to see what your kids like best. They may hate broccoli, but they may love corn. Experiment until you find what works!
Make it Fun
Get your kids involved and make eating fruits and vegetables fun. You can try holding "create your own" sessions, and encourage your kids to provide feedback on the types of fruits and veggies they like. Make silly faces or shapes from the ingredients, either that you have made or that they have helped you make.You could also try a contest -- with the person who eats the most veggies per day or per week winning a special prize.
Set an Example
Kids often want to do what their heroes do. Point out how athletes like Michael Jordan or actors like Vin Diesel have to eat lots of veggies to stay strong and lean. If that doesn't work, remember that your are the best example in your child's life. Even if they don't respond right away, if they see you setting a consistent example of behavior, they are likely to follow your lead.
Though it may be difficult at first to convince your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, experiment with a number of techniques and be consistent and you are bound to see results. And remember
Starting early is more likely to help children develop healthy habits that they will continue throughout their lives.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching baseball scholarships as well as basketball scholarships . Whenever she gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.