Kids are picky when it comes to eating vegetables, unlike adults that already understand the benefits of eating them. However, your kids can be compelled to change their ways with vegetables by following the tips mentioned in this piece.
The eating pattern of the parent goes a long way to determine that of the child. A child tends to get used to the kind of foods consumed by the parent. If you relegate vegetables in your home while bringing up your kid, the kid may also not fancy vegetables. The reverse is the case if the vegetable is part of your regular foods at home. Eating vegetable as a regular food at home will familiarize the kid with vegetables, and kids will only eat what they are familiar with.
Add some fun
Role play is one of the easiest ways to get your kids to learn new habits or accept certain things as the norm, like eating a vegetable, for example. Your kid may find eating broccoli a little intimidating. But why not ask him to imagine he is a dinosaur that needs to eat leaves on a tree so that he can outrun a tyrannosaurus rex? Or print several funny coloring pages with dinosaurs and vegetables. This can trigger the interest of the kid and make him want to eat the broccoli since you make him see the food from a fun perspective. With time, the kid will get more accustomed to the vegetables. And coloring pages can be colored after a meal as a reward.
Get them involved
You can get the kids involved during the preparation of the vegetable. This way, they will be more disposed to eating the food. Also, you can involve the kids when shopping for vegetables at the grocery stores or farmers market. You can even give them the freedom to choose a couple of items to cook for dinner. Also, you can ask the kid to choose any of the vegetables for preparation. This way, the kid can get more interested in the vegetables and may be compelled to eat them. Allow the kid to mix the dressing, snap the beans or clean the carrots. You can even allow her to set the table and she will be more encouraged to eat the vegetables.
The “one bite rule”
If your kid has rejected a particular food once, you may need to expose him to that same food about eight times before he can accept it. The one bite rule can, however, help out a great deal. In the rule, the parent should encourage the child to take a mouthful of the food he has earlier rejected each time such food is served again. This will increase exposure to the food, and the child will get used to it with time. The food may soon become his favorite over time.
Do not force the child to finish his vegetables
Many parents think they can force a child to like a particular food when they force him to finish the food on his plate. This is a misconception that parents must stop. When you force a child to finish his vegetable, he mentally associates that food with punishment and bad feeling. The bad feelings will, therefore, arise each time he thinks about that food. The negative food experience will make the child dislike the food even more and increase picky eating behavior.
Reward good behaviors
Each time the kid eats his vegetables, especially if he had earlier rejected them, you could reward him for that. This will compel the child to associate the food or vegetable with good feelings. Consequently, the interest of the child in his vegetables will be triggered. If you want to practice the one bite rule, make sure you reward the child each time he takes the desired “one bite.” As time goes on, they will develop an interest in the food and will not need your rewards anymore to eat vegetables.
The above points can help to build the interest of your kids in vegetables. However, you should make the foods as delicious as possible to further promote their interests. One of the best ways to make the kids like vegetables is to explain that vegetables will help them grow faster. Yes, your kid loves the idea of growing taller than his classmates, and he will be keen on stuffing vegetables down his throat daily.