So, you’re at the dinner table. Food is laid out in front of you and your family. You’re enjoying your meal, you quietly look over and your kid has finished everything else on the plate except for the greens. No matter what you do to cajole your kid into gulping down every last bite of what’s left on the plate, it does not seem to work. You want to give up but you know how important those nutrients are for your kid. You are desperate. Your child is throwing a tantrum. You feel like a failure.
Seems a little bit too dramatic, isn’t it? The truth of the matter is, parents face this kind of situation everyday. The thing is, feeding your kids fruits and vegetables shouldn’t feel like you’re going to war. It really shouldn’t. If you follow these 6 sure-fire ways to persuade your kid to eat fruits and vegetables, I promise you that dinner time will never end in wasted food ever again.
1- Start Early
This may seem a little too late if your kid is well into preschool age, but if your kid is in his/her toddler years then you can give this a go! To start early is to make fruits and vegetables as a form of snack, not just as part of main meals in your kid’s daily eating habit.
Studies claim that a toddler requires two to three servings of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. So, replace those lollies with baby carrots. Cherry tomatoes are a good pick as well as they are easy to carry around ziplock bags. In case you’re at the mall, skip the sugar-loaded confectionery whenever your toddler wants a snack and hand them apple slices instead. Apart from that, to start early is also to start easy.
If your kid still seems reluctant to try those fruits and veggies, go for yogurt instead and sneak in a few blueberries inside. By doing this, your kid will get used to and grow up to love nothing else but fruits and veggies.
2- Allow Authority
Another tip to get your kid to love fruits and veggies is through self-exploration. Have you ever heard of the quote, “To ask someone to do something is to not ask them at all”? It’s simple reverse psychology.
When going out to get groceries and you’re at the fruits and veggies aisle, ask your kids to choose which fruit and vegetable that they would like to buy. Each time they’ve chosen a fruit or veggie, ask them how they would like to prepare it and Google for recipes together. This will make the whole process a fun experience for your kids.
This excitement will continue on when you get home until it is time to prepare or cook the fruit and veggie. Let your kids wash, toss, peel, pick, handle the fruit and veggie that they have chosen from the store and allow them to help you prepare or cook it. This will make your kids feel that whatever that is being made is by them and for them. Try it! It is sure to work.
3- Finish It First
A hungry child will consume almost anything. Now, I’m not saying you need to starve your kids. But once they get home from school, most kids would be craving for a snack before actual lunchtime. Put aside the potato chips, bread, and cakes. Place a bowl of sliced fruits or a veggie plate on the table and watch it disappear in a matter of seconds. Do this every day and they will slowly get used to it.
4- Lead by Example
There are many other ways to cultivate a love for fruits and veggies within your kids such as through the use of education. There are plenty of children’s books out there preaching about the goodness of eating fruits and veggies to your kids.
One of it is issue #5 of the Spark Comic where kids are being taught the nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies. It is a known fact that kids learn by example. Let Alfa and his friends guide your kids into understanding why it is necessary to eat a hearty amount of fruit and veggies on a daily basis.
Even you as a parent can set a good example for your kids by taking a bite of the slice of fruit together with your kid. This will build a trusting relationship between you and your kid, showing them that you only want the best for them.
5- Mix and Match
Use your creativity. There are many kid-friendly recipes to prepare fruits and veggies out there that you can choose from. There are even various ways to insert fruits and veggies into your kid’s meal. For instance, top a bowl of cereal with sliced fruits. Replace chocolate sprinkles for blueberries for ice cream. Make a green juice by blending bananas, almond milk, frozen pineapple, and baby spinach for your toddler. Make a smoothie with tropical fruits. This way, your kids will easily consume and get the proper amount of nutrients that they need.
6- Variety is Key
Out of all that I have listed here, the key is maintaining variety. Prepare different fruits every day, cook different types of vegetables to keep it exciting so your kids will never get tired of having to eat the same fruits and veggies everyday because let’s face it, no one wants to eat the same thing everyday.
And there you go, we are at the end of the list of ways to persuade your kid to eat fruits and veggies. Make sure you give it all a go and remember to never give up, this is all part and parcel of being parents. By the end of the day, your kids will thank you for it.