More than adults, kids need plenty of nutrients and vitamins to grow strong and healthy. Fruits and vegetables are a top source of these nutrients. But, it can be challenging to make kids eat them. If you’re having issues getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, you’re in the right place. These ten tips will help you get them eating even the ones they hate the most.
1. Plan their meal
Kids don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables because it’s not fun. Parents introduce it at will, and the kids can’t seem to get used to it. To help them take it more seriously, have a plan. By having a schedule, they already know what they will be eating, so they’re prepared.
Ensure you have a plan without too many fruits and vegetables (1). Do it with care and moderation and allow them to enjoy other meals as well. It is also essential to know that taste comes with habit. If you offer your kids certain foods more often, they will get used to them, and at some point, they will also like the taste.
2. Dip it
One of the best tricks parents use to make their kids eat veggies is dipping. Plain yogurt, peanut butter, and vanilla are some of the dips kids love when eating vegetables. Make sure the dip has healthy ingredients.
Remember that the purpose of the dip is to make the kids eat to gain nutrients. You will eliminate the good effort if the food is not healthy for them. Healthy dips can also add nutrients and vitamins that will help the kids grow.
3. Blend food with vegetables
It will be very difficult to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables without blending them. To entice them, try to blend or mix the veggies with the regular meals. Again, don’t overdo it. The idea is to get them to eat the fruits no matter how small the amount. If you try to feed them a whole bunch, it will overwhelm them, and they’ll lose interest (2).
Even adults don’t like to overeat fruits and vegetables. Blending works for kids and helps them develop an interest in eating vegetables.
4. Introduce new fruits one at a time
Sometimes parents want to introduce new fruits and vegetables to their kid’s meals. The purpose is to help get more nutrients to better their health. Most of the time, this move fails to materialize. The reason is that parents introduce too many fruits at the same time.
They also expect the kids to start eating a whole bunch and get more nutrients. Your kids will react vigorously to this and may end up turning your plans upside down. That’s why it’s better to do the introduction one after the other.
5. Turn it into smoothies
Everyone loves smoothies, including the children. Smoothies are a fantastic way to provide your child with fruit and other nutrients. If they can’t eat their vegetables and fruits whole, ground them into bits.
There are several smoothie recipe options online that kids will love. What you need to make one is a blender and your choice of ingredients. You can use your child’s favorite fruits. The idea is to mix different fruits and vegetables that will create a unique taste.
Your smoothie has to be eaten fresh for the greatest benefit. Kids may like to drink it in the morning. Smoothies at the start of the day will give them nutrients, hydration, and energy (3). If they like it, they will continue to ask for more.
6. Include small pieces every single meal
If you want your kids to eat more vegetables, don’t flood them with them. The idea is to build their interest over time until they accept it. That’s why including small pieces of fruits and vegetables at a time is the best strategy. You can add it to every meal so they can expect it and get used to it. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes and adjust. Let them show you what they like and how they want it to make it easier for you.
7. Add fruits to spaghetti
Apart from oatmeal, another food that kids love is spaghetti. So, anytime they’re eating it don’t forget to add some fruits. Most kids will eat well-made spaghetti no matter what’s in it. Be creative when getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables using spaghetti. Don’t overdo it and always change fruits each time. Kids don’t like eating the same thing over and over again; they like variety. They also like colorful food so add three different fruits with varying colors.
8. Put kids in charge of preparation
Almost every kid loves to be in charge of something. So, if you want to have them eat more vegetables, put them in charge of the preparation. It sometimes takes a little more time but is very effective. Make suggestions about adding fruits and vegetables and convince them to accept. Guide them on the best way to go about it. Work with the kids on the use of online recipes to achieve the best results.
Putting kids in charge of food preparation will help them appreciate the effort that goes into the process. They will also learn cooking skills, leadership skills, and decision-making skills. Teach them that they will learn these skills more if they nourish their brain. And that the best source of nourishment is fruits and vegetables.
9. Add them to oatmeal
The good thing about oatmeal is that, for some reason, kids love it. Oatmeal is rich in fiber, gluten-free, and contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also reduces constipation, lowers blood sugar levels, and protects the skin.
Oatmeal is one of the best ways to getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Just add them to the meal, and they’re ready to go (4). You can stir it in or allow it to sit on the meal, depending on what the child likes.
10. Be a role model
Getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables will be easier if you do it also. Be a role model and eat more fruits in your meal. When they see you eat it, it’s easier for them to accept it. Kids are better at doing what they see than what they are told. If your child sees you gnawing on a lot of junk food or snacking all the time, you can’t expect them to stick to fruits and vegetables.
Help them build a relationship with their mealtime. Let your children understand that food is beyond relieving hunger. It’s also about survival and nourishing the body with nutrients and vitamins. Teaching them all these things will encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables and offer your family a changing menu.
11. Be patient with them.
Children do not like everything unknown as quickly as ice cream or chocolate. The most important thing is to offer them repeatedly. So please don’t give up quickly. Keep on trying. For example, if you like broccoli, but your child doesn’t, why shouldn’t it continue to be on the menu? That would be a real shame.
What else can you do? You can and should lead by example. Those who like to eat vegetables, raw vegetables or salad often and with pleasure show the children that they are delicious.
Trying to convince children with arguments or discussing that vegetables are healthy and important doesn’t help. Small children do not yet understand these arguments, and older children are still not convinced by them. The only thing that matters for a child is eating has to be fun, and it has to taste very good.
12. Creativity pays off
Bright colors and cute spherical shapes will encourage children to try new fruits and vegetables. It will be best to let your child eat more often with their small hands in order to experience the food in a sensual way. Eating and sitting at the table is then easier because there is no boredom. While your child may refuse to eat whole fruits, adorable bananas with berries in glass are sure to catch their attention.
Kids don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables. But, they need it for good health and strong immunity. There are strategies parents can use when getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Help the children get more nourishment into their bodies with these tips.
Eating a healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. It protects us against many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Adding a plant-based diet, consuming less salt and sugars are essential for a healthy lifestyle. (5)