How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Greens
There seems to be a love-hate relationship between kids and any kind of healthy vegetable. Why is that? Whatever the reason, they do need the nutrients locked inside. So, how can you get your kids to eat their green vegetables?
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s true. Whatever we do not like or won’t eat, we are not likely to introduce to our kids. It is an unconscious process that we, as parents, go through. When you shop, if you don’t like peas, you won’t pick them up.
So, in reality, getting your kids to eat their greens is also an experiment for you as well. Through them, you can learn to appreciate vegetables that you may have shied away from as a child and again as an adult.
With that said, introducing new foods to kids when they are young is one way to get them to eat their green veggies. Their palate is clean and ready to accept new foods. They will learn how vegetables are supposed to taste and choose the ones they like. Resist the urge to smother them with butter or salt. Let the natural flavor come through.
If your children are older and haven’t developed a love for veggies, you may have to be a little covert with your veggie operation. The first thing to do is double the vegetables in foods they normally eat.
Let’s take a hamburger for instance. Homemade burgers are the best. Kids who don’t eat a lot of veggies will put them on their burger. This is your opportunity to smuggle a few more greens in. if they usually take one piece of lettuce, put two. Vary your types of lettuce so they get a variety of tastes: romaine, Bibb, iceberg and even mixed greens.
Add a salad to your meals. Serve the salad while the kids are waiting for the main course. When they are truly hungry they will dive right in. it also gives them a chance to create a salad they will like. Offer a smorgasbord of add-ins including green things like cucumber, lettuces, beans (edamame, peas) and green peppers. Make your own dressing so you know its low-fat.
Offer veggies and dip for snacks. Instead of serving popcorn with your favorite movie, try a platter of veggies and great-tasting dip. Kids love to dip things so give them each a small bowl of their favorite dip.
One more suggestion is diced veggies. Add them to soups, stews and even spaghetti sauce. You can hide a bevy of good things in these places.
Are your kids averse to eating green things? Help them by using every opportunity to get introduce them to their palate.