I really like vegetables. Really.
Except green beans.
I dreaded every meal when my mom would place that bowl of green beans on the table. The smell, the look, everything got my gag reflex going. But every meal somehow a spoonful of those beauties would get on my plate, and I had to eat them. Well, one day when I was about 7 I had had enough of being forced to eat the one vegetable I despise. So I didn’t. But then my parents told me I had to sit at the table until I DID eat those green beans on my plate.
So I sat there. For about 3 hours. Until it was time for bed and I was allowed to leave since I was laying across the chairs dozing off.
So here is the deal – parents are always trying to get their kids to eat healthier. With summer coming and produce becoming more available, I thought I’d be a good idea to throw out some ideas on how to get your kids eating the way they should be and the way you want them to be…without them sitting at the table for hours.
1. Sneak it in: I’m not a huge fan of just doing a puree of vegetables and adding it to everything, since I think kids should see what they are eating and know it is good for them. But making things like smoothies and zucchini muffins are a good way to add them in a subtle way.
2. Combine: Make something your child already enjoys (like mac and cheese or pasta) and add in extra veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower or anything else! Or making an egg omelet with cheese and cut up vegetables is great!
3. Involve them: Bring them in the kitchen and take them to the store with you. Let them pick out what they want to try and help in making the dish – they are so much more likely to try it!
4. Don’t give up: It can take up to 15 introductions to a food before someone likes it. So keep having your child eat even a little, and don’t stop offering it. They will grow to like some of it some time!
5. Make it fun: Make art with your food by making pancakes with blueberry eyes and a banana mouth, or making a “forest” with broccoli or ant logs with carrots. Kids like fun things!
The most important thing is that you don’t get up and that you continue to realize a little here and there does add up!
~What suggestions do you have for getting your kids to eat healthy?