We made the switch to unprocessed foods when my daughters were two and three years old. I made slow and steady changes to our diets, but I encountered some resistance from the girls – they weren’t used to so many vegetables and unprocessed foods. Discouraged at first, I came across a study which found that a child may have to taste a food six to ten times before they accept it. I took this information to heart and was determined my kids would eventually enjoy a rainbow of color on their plate. Now, at eleven and twelve, I’m happy to say they eat a wide array of vegetables each day. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your child to eat more vegetables.
You may have to keep trying. We took this approach with our kids, continuing night after night putting new foods on their plate. We had a one-bite minimum rule and after many weeks and months of persistence, they started eating all sorts of new vegetables. My oldest initially wouldn’t touch a salad with a ten-foot pole, but soon began eating a full bowl each night! Granted, it’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s worth it in the end.
Roast Your Vegetables
My kids prefer roasting over all other ways to prepare vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower take on a whole new flavor profile when roasted at high heat with a bit of healthy fat and Celtic sea salt. Try squash, potatoes, carrots, green beans, too. They will eat them up!
Add some healthy fats
Healthy fats make vegetables taste so much better. We use butter and ghee on all our vegetables. Why? These saturated fats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contribute to the health of the immune system, and nourish the brain. Also, a Swedish study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that eating fruits and vegetables didn’t lower the risk of coronary heart disease unless said fruits and vegetables were consumed with high-fat dairy products. Bring on the butter!
Don’t hide the vegetables
Generally, I don’t like to hide the vegetables in food. Most of the mothers hide the veggies to give extra nutrients to their children, but you ain’t sending the right message to your kid. They need to learn the importance of eating a healthy meal. Hiding the veggies for a little time is okay if you kid is not comfortable with them, but you need to make them learn how to make healthy choices as they grow up. When they start understanding the importance of these veggies, they will start eating them without your recommendations.
Get your kids cooking
Let’s involve your kids in the meal shopping, plannings, and cookings. When you are leaving the house to purchase some fruits and veggies, don’t forget to bring your kids as well. While you make a purchase and cook that food, explain the nutrients in each food and let them know why they are so important. Tell them how veggies keep you safe from various diseases and don’t hesitate to give them few examples. Teach your kids how to cut the veggies and involve them while you are chopping veggies. When the meal time comes, they will be more excited to taste the food they just made.
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