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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting
skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen
years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity
ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!
How to Get Kids Eat Vegetables and Come Back for More
By Martha Sanders
Getting kids to eat vegetables is a daunting task for many parents. However, with
a little patience and clever tricks, you can literally watch your kids eat vegetables
right before your eyes. Here are some really good ideas to inspire you...
Fun Ways to Make Your Kids Eat Veggies
1. Allow your kids to play with their vegetables. Cut up some carrot sticks, cucumber
rounds, cherry tomatoes and arrange them on a plate. Your kid can make a face using
cucumber rounds for the eyes, carrot sticks for eyebrows, cherry tomatoes for the
nose, a slice of red pepper for mouth, watercress or even shredded cheese for hair,
My daughter, who is 4 years old, and likes dressing up, choose to arrange her peas
on the plate so that they resemble pearl necklace. Then she pops the peas one by
one into her mouth; though it's terribly slow but I know at least she's eating some
2. You might want to try introducing sweeter vegetables such as pumpkins to your
kid's palate first rather than flaccid and bland tasting veggies like broccoli and
Kids' taste buds are far more sensitive than adults, and many kids have a very strong
negative reaction to bitter flavours, making foods like spinach, brussels sprouts,
and asparagus really unpalatable. The trick is to start out slow and gradually increase
the variety as your kid's taste changes.
3. Don't force your kid to eat an entire portion of greens that he doesn't like.
Keep the portion small and manageable for growing tummy, maybe about three bites
until he begins to develop a liking to the food.
If your kid doesn't eat, don't force-feed. Wait a reasonable amount of time (say,
20 minutes) and then take the plate away without fuss. If you make it a negative
experience by raising your voice or forcing your kid to eat, that will only perpetuate
the vegetable-hating as he'll be more likely to associate vegetables with negativity.
Also, remember to praise him when he eat his greens.
4. Introduce your kid to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as earlier in life
as possible, and serve them often. Kids need to be exposed to a new food as many
as 10 to 15 times before they'll accept it. Most parents give up after less than
5. If you can’t make your children eat vegetables, make them drink it. Pour some
vegetable juice over ice and dress up with a fancy straw (Spongebob does the trick
for me), an attractive cocktail umbrella or a stick of celery, and watch them drink
Homemade smoothies is an excellent way to sneak in some fruits. Although your kids
may not get as much fiber as eating the whole fruit and vegetable, getting them to
drink their juices is better than not getting any fruits and vegetables at all.
6. Always have some fresh fruits like apples, bananas, plums and oranges in a bowl
on the kitchen table, and ready to eat. It's also good to have some celery and carrots
on the top shelf of the refrigerator that have been washed and cut.
7. Involve your kids in cooking, food preparation or serving of the vegetables at
mealtimes , such as letting kids smash cooked potatoes with a hand masher. When
kids are involved, they feel helpful and proud. If they’re proud of the meal, they’ll
want to eat it. Reinforce this by praising the vegetable dish they helped to prepare.
8. Be a good example and eat your greens too! Moms have a particularly strong impact
on their daughters' habits. Moms who follow fad diets and speak negatively about
their bodies are more likely to have daughters with unhealthy eating patterns. If
you want your kids to have a healthy relationship with food, then make sure you have
9. Get your kid involved in selecting vegetables and fruits. If your kid is always
selecting the same vegetable, don't throw open ended questions like "What do you
want to pick?". Instead give him a choice between two other vegetables, such as “Shall
we buy cauliflower or broccoli?". By doing that, kids can have an active role in
decision-making. Moreover, a trip to the grocery store also helps kids experience
the sight, smell and scent of fresh produce.
10. If possible, create a small vegetable garden and have your kids help with the
entire growing process. Kids usually get excited when it comes to harvesting and
they'll learn a lot more instead of wincing at strange vegetables on their plates.
More often than not, kids feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in having taken
part in their efforts.
11. Be creative. Tell stories that feature the veggies they're about to eat and the
great wild adventures they are going to have.
12. Or, pick a colour theme and then, buy fruits and vegetables that match that colour.
You can get your kid into the mood by dressing him in the same colour too. For example,
on "yellow" day, he puts on a yellow T-shirt, snack on bananas, and you make pizza
topped with yellow peppers. On a "purple" day, eggplants and grapes, and so on.
With a little creativity, getting kids to eat vegetables can be as simple as ABC!
Is your toddler stuck in a food jag and won't eat meat? Find out how you can get
your super picky eater to try new foods and receive the essential nutrients to support
overall mental and physical development.
If your child won't drink milk no matter what you do, use these ideas to encourage
milk consumption and ensure adequate calcium intake. Learn what are good non-milk
calcium food sources to offer, if your kids simply hate milk.
If you're wondering what is good to eat with raisins, but eating them straight out
of the box doesn't appeal to you, then get inspired with these interesting recipes,
and start enjoying the health benefits of raisins in your everyday meals.