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Help! How can I get my child to eat their veggies?!

Finally, our 4 year old is eating his vegetables better.  If you have been reading my blogs, you know that it takes up to 8-10 exposures for someone to start liking a new food.  We try and try in our home just like in yours- it can be exhausting!

Five tips for getting veggies eaten in your home:

  1. Modeling: If you don’t eat the vegetables, they won’t either.  If you want your child to eat vegetables, they need to see you eat them.  If we complain about them, they will, too!

  2. Baby food veggies: Don’t forget to feed these to your babies.  Varying the color gives a variety of nutrition.  Get their palate ready for the solid versions!
  3. Early on: Keep offering the vegetables.  Sure – if you want to hide them in recipe dishes, that is one way to get them into kids.  But, they need to see them, too.  Keep offering what they like while offering a new one.  If they touch it, consider the meal a success.  If they throw it, another success!  Covering up with cheese or Ketchup always helps any new food!
  4. Try it once: I have said a few times, “Try it once and THEN, you can give us your opinion.”  Again, offer veggies the kids will eat while still offering new ones.  I promise you, it will get better!
  5. “More than one veggie at a meal is a good meal” (quote from a dietitian friend): At lunch and supper, try and have more than one vegetable at the meal.  For those busy days, if you have 0-1 veggie at a meal, you will make up for it at the next meal.  Bonus: try incorporating vegetables at breakfast (ie: pumpkin in pancakes; veggies in eggs; salsa with eggs).

Stock your kitchen with easy to eat veggies:

  • Frozen vegetables (easy to pop into the microwave at lunch and supper)
  • Salsa
  • Fresh vegetables with dip (look to pre-cut vegetables or salad bar to save time)
  • Lettuce salads (kids can help make these; bagged lettuces can save time)
  • Cook extra veggies and eat your leftovers at the next meal!

 

Check out Dayton Children’s on the Pinterest Board: Kids Recipes and Nutrition Tips for recipe ideas using vegetables.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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