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Certified Personal Trainer. Health Foodie. Wife. Mom.

How To Get Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

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Eating Veggies

I think it’s safe to say that most parents try to give their kids veggies – some kids will eat them and some kids won’t. Here are my secrets to getting my little one to eat her veggies!

Give Your Kid Vegetables Every Day

I know this seems a little too obvious, but I think it’s important enough to mention. So many parents will say that their kids won’t eat their vegetables, but they never seem to try to give their kids vegetables! Maybe they started out trying and gave up. Whatever the case, it’s important that you KEEP giving your kids vegetables every day.

My daughter’s pediatrician explained that kid’s taste buds are still developing, which means it can take up to 19 times eating something before a kid likes a new food! I have found with my daughter that with some vegetables, she likes them immediately. Other vegetables, she likes them by the fourth or fifth time I’ve offered it to her. I don’t force or push veggies on her, but  I do include them on her plate so she can try it out.

Give Your Kid A Variety of Vegetables

In addition to giving your kids vegetables every day, be sure to give them a wide variety of veggies! Sure,  your kid may never love butternut squash the way you do – but you may find that he/she loves zucchini instead! It’s important to give your little ones a variety so they don’t associate veggies as being just the one vegetable they don’t like -plus, you’re giving your kids a variety of nutrients, flavors, textures, etc.

In addition to giving them a variety of different vegetables, be sure to try new ways to make or present each vegetables. For example, I gave my daughter grilled red peppers – because that’s how I love them! – but she didn’t  like them. I came to the obvious conclusion that she just didn’t like red peppers after many attempts of giving them to her! I realized I was wrong with this conclusion when a eventually gave my daughter raw red peppers – and she LOVED it! After this experience, I was able to try new ways of presenting different vegetables to her, knowing that she may prefer certain vegetables raw or cooked, or even as part of a bigger dish.

Don’t Be Biased!

I think this is an important concept to get, because it’s the parent’s doing – and it’s pretty bad! Often times, parents will put their negative bias about certain foods on their kids, which prevents them from making their own opinion about the food. Unfortunately, I see this happen all of the time!

Here’s what happens: Parents will put a vegetable that they don’t particularly like (or don’t think their kid will like) on their kid’s plate and…

A. They will beg or bribe their kid to eat the vegetable (or other food)  – implying that it’s the worst food ever.

-If you have to beg or bribe the kid, they’re not going to want to eat that food and think, “Oh, this is something that must not be yummy”.

B. They will tell their kid’s how gross the vegetable is.

-Seriously? And you wonder why your kid won’t even touch it. 

Just because you don’t like a particular vegetable, it doesn’t mean that your kid won’t like it either. I have found all too often that my daughter likes or even loves certain foods that I don’t particularly care for. Why? Because I gave her certain vegetables or foods that I don’t particularly care for and I acted like they were the most amazing food ever. I even ate the vegetables and said, “MMM!!! This is yummy!” and my daughter would dig in and devour the vegetable.  Yes, I was shocked she liked vegetables that I didn’t particularly care for, but allowing your kid to make their own opinions about food is so important when it comes to being a good little eater!

Lead By Example

Kids learn so much by your example. If I sit down at the table with my daughter eating the same vegetables that is on her plate- she is so much more likely to try and actually eat those same vegetables on her plate that she was only staring at moments earlier.

After becoming a parent, I have learned that “Monkey See, Monkey Do” is so accurate with my daughter! If she sees me eating something, she wants it too – it doesn’t matter what it is! I think that’s an important concept to remember. If you are eating junk food – your kid will want to as well. They want to eat what you’re eating, remember? Go ahead and eat your vegetables. It’s good for you and your kiddo!

How To Get Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

Here’s a short video of my daughter eating her veggies! She’s a little older now, but you get the point :)

How Do You Get YOUR Kids To Eat Their Veggies?

Please share your tips and tricks in the comments! Thank you!

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