Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are Your Kids Eating Their Vegetables? 10 Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies.

Have you ever discovered your broccoli disguised as a plant in your flower pot, while you desperately go around the house asking, "Who didn't eat their vegetables?"
Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a difficult  task. Hopefully the following ten tips and tricks can get them eating their veggies without the tantrums and meltdowns that can ruin dinnertime for everybody.

1. Incorporate pureed vegetables into dishes like mash potatoes, rice or dumplings. Pasta sauce is another good place to hide vegetables. trust me, your kids will never know.
2. Create vegetable smoothies and add apples to disguise its taste. A great combination is apples, beets and carrots. The sweetness of the apples and carrots help to distract from the beets which may be strange to kids sensitive taste buds.
3. Grow a vegetable garden with your kids. This makes vegetables fun and more interesting, which may give your kids motivation to eat them. Your kids will feel good when they see the vegetables sprout, grow up and land on the dinner table. Don't worry if you live in an apartment or don't have enough space. You can start with a few potted vegetables.
4.Offer a nice reward at the end of the week for the amount of vegetables eaten. Using a chart and sticker rewards works especially well with young children.
5.Keep vegetables in the refrigerator in handy cute containers. Never underestimate the power of cute!
6.Arrange the vegetables on cute designs on the plate, for example use the broccoli as a forest, with round slices of carrots and peas to decorate. Have a contest and let the kids create their own designs. Give prizes to keep kids motivated.
7. If the kids are very hungry, put vegetables as your first course of the meal option. They are more likely to eat it if they are famished. And don't forget the salad dressing. Ranch is a huge favorite at my house.
8. Always try to have a dinner or snack that you know your kids will love. My kids love pizza, so in addition to the pizza, I add some interesting tiny vegetable pieces on top like red, yellow and green bell peppers.
9. Give your kid muffins or cakes with the veggies disguised in them. My kids love squash muffins and everyone loves a carrot cake. You can use other vegetables as well.
10. Explain to them the health benefits of vegetables and what could happen if they don't eat their vegetables. This may work better with the older ones who are better able to reason things out.

Give these tips a try and I guarantee that at least one of them will work. Of course, setting a good example by eating vegetables yourself is the best way for your kids to eat their vegetables.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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