Photo By Alexander Dummer
Fussy little eaters at home?
HERE'S 7 TIPS TO GET KIDS TO EAT THEIR VEGGIES
By Samantha Yarde
Working with young children, I know just how hard it can sometimes be to get them to simply try and hopefully jump at the thought of eating vegetables at snack and mealtimes. I can only imagine how hard it may be to do this at home. So, if you're struggling in this area, here is a list of 7 ways you could try to get your kids to eat those veggies:
1. Begin as early as possible: As soon as your little one is ready to begin eating solid foods is a great time to introduce vegetables. Cut them up small, puree them, whatever you need to do. Because we all know just how good vegetables are for us! Plus, there is so much that can be taught to kids about healthy eating at a young age when they are interested in every single thing.
2. Explore with all senses and make it fun: Don't expect them to love vegetables right away or rush the process. If there's some hesitation, begin by simply touching, smelling, and tasting (or licking) them. Slowly work their way up to (hopefully) eventually eating them. Talk about the crunch carrots make when you bite into them or the squishiness of tomatoes.
3. Use them in dishes and invite kids into the kitchen: There are so many different meals that can be made with vegetables! Try making a vegetable stir-fry, tomato soup or cauliflower rice. The flavour added from a little salt or pepper can help to mask the taste that some kids just don't seem to like. Get them to help out with the cooking process, even if it's with washing the vegetables or sprinkling the seasoning.
4. Keep trying! : It takes time to acquire a liking to something new. Don't give up after the first try. Introduce the broccoli or cucumber more than once with a variety of meals, such as with rice one day and then pasta on another occasion.
5. Set an example and limits: Kids, especially at a young age like to imitate the actions and behaviours of the adults in their lives. If they see you eating them, there's a chance they'll be willing to give them a try. If they see something else more appealing advertised on TV, they'll probably want that instead. So keep that in mind too!
6. Talk with them: Kids understand everything that goes on around them and learn quickly! Spend time having conversations with them about healthy eating habits and what hungry and satiety feel like. Take pauses at mealtimes for conversations and to slow the process of eating down in order to enjoy the food and the time spent together.
7. Smoothies: We saved the best for last! Smoothies are a great way for kids to get the most fruits and veggies in the shortest amount of time. Not only are smoothies tasty and colourful, they are healthy, fun and super easy to make! Throw in some baby spinach along with blueberries and a banana and voilà! But maybe those fruits and vegetables don’t even last a week in your house before they go bad. Or, maybe you want to top up on your kids already existing vegetable intake. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Add our Healthy Kids Bundle to your cart and just make sure you have some water or milk at home for when our bundle arrives to you. You can even add our superfood blends to that Spinach Blueberry Banana smoothie. That’s simply all you need to get those veggies in, plus your kids and you will enjoy it! Don’t forget to always make it fun: talk about the loud sound the blender makes!
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Samantha Yarde is a Registered Early Childhood Educator from Toronto who has been working with children and families for 7 years. She currently holds an Honours Bachelor in Child Development and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies. Samantha is a guest writer for Smoov, sharing her expertise, experience and tips, specifically pertaining to the healthy development and well-being of children.