Sometimes, getting our children to eat their vegetables can seem like an impossible task.
Between meltdowns and tantrums, dinner time is often a lot more stressful than it needs to be when our little ones refuse to eat the veggies on their plate.
Although it may be a challenge and can require patience, encouraging your child to eat their vegetables is important to ensure they have a well-balanced diet and are getting the nutrients and vitamins they need to grow.
Have a look at our top tips below to get your children to eat their vegetables.
Include in their favourite meals
Blending or finely chopping vegetables into your child’s favourite dish is an easy way to ensure they’re eating their veggies. Whether they love pasta or casserole, stir fry or a pie, this is an easy and fuss-free way to sneak vegetables into their meals.
Offer a variety
Allow your child to try a wide range of vegetables so they have a greater chance of finding some they enjoy eating. Provide a variety of colours and textures to keep dinnertime interesting so they look forward to trying a new vegetable. Even if it’s a vegetable you don’t enjoy eating yourself, offer it to your child so you’re not limiting their taste buds.
Make it fun
Nobody is going to look forward to eating vegetables if you’re stressed and shouting and your child is overwhelmed and upset, so make it fun! Chop vegetables with different cookie cutter shapes or create a pattern or picture on your child’s plate with the vegetables. While we’re normally taught not to play with our food, allow this bit of fun at the dinner table to make trying new veggies a positive experience.
Involve them in cooking
Depending on your child’s age, allow them to help prepare the vegetables when you’re cooking dinner. Let them rinse the veggies under the tap and peel them before they’re cooked. This way, your child can feel proud and motivated to try the vegetables after they’ve seen the work they put into preparing it.
Create a positive environment
We can often think of bribing little ones in order to do something for us, like eating their vegetables, when we’re at our wits end. Although this will be a quick-fix for the time being, your child may start to expect a reward every time they eat a vegetable, which isn’t a good habit to fall into. Instead, make the meal time environment relaxed and enjoyable for the whole family by having patience and being encouraging.