10 Genius Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Their VeggiesKelsey Banfield
If you are dealing with a picky vegetable eater, or just a picky eater in general, now is the time to introduce them to new vegetables. With summer produce available in markets there is no better moment to give them their first taste of fresh peas, or show them how many ways a zucchini can be eaten. The flavor of fresh summer produce is unparalleled and once kids get their first taste of a perfectly sweet, ripe tomato they can truly begin to appreciate how wonderful vegetables are to eat! It can be defeating when introducing vegetables has not worked in the past, but it will definitely pay to try again this season. Here are ten secrets to successfully introducing vegetables to your kids this summer!
10 Secrets to Introducing Summer Vegetables to Kids 1 of 11
Tip #1 – Be realistic and start simple 2 of 11
Have you ever seen a child try a vegetable once and declare it their new favorite? Me neither. Be realistic and remember that trying a new food won't mean a home run every time. Take it day by day and don't get down on them if the don't declare something new their absolute favorite food after trying it only once. Start simple but cutting up crudite and serving their favorite dip alongside. They will love the novelty of dipping fresh veggies and getting the full flavor of them when they are raw.
Photo: Macki Cayloma
Tip #2 – Make it fun and relaxed 3 of 11
As you introduce new vegetables to kids, talk about them and even make a list of everything they try. They will feel so accomplished as their list grows all summer long! Try introducing them to small portions of new things so they don't get overwhelmed. Things like this vegetarian bento box, complete with fruit and grains they already like, would be perfect. They can pick at a few different vegetables, along with more of their favorite foods, and eat at their own pace.
Photo: Kathy Patalsky
Tip #3 – Invent a game 4 of 11
Little games can be so much fun! Try making one up about what they are eating, even citing their favorite cartoon, and engaging the kids in eating adventures. It is not about tricking them into trying new vegetables, it is about taking away their fear for the unknown.
Tip #4 – Reintroduce! 5 of 11
It can take kids several tries before they adapt to new foods. Keep reintroducing them until they learn to like them. Don't be discouraged, it can take kids many tries before they incorporate a new vegetable into their diet. Here are some great vegetable recipes for kids that are great to start with!
Tip #5 – Take Them Shopping 6 of 11
A trip to the farmer's market or local grocery store is a great way to introduce them to new vegetables. Ask the farmer at the farmer's market to share the store of their wares so your kids can understand where the food comes from. Here are some great games to play with them while you shop!
Tip #6 – Let it Grow 7 of 11
Many herbs and vegetables will thrive in a container garden. Consider buying some seeds and growing a few things from scratch with the kids. They'll love eating something they've grown themselves!
Photo: Free Digital Photos
Tip #7 – Incorporate, Incorporate, Incorporate 8 of 11
Incorporate new vegetables into their favorite dishes. For example, vegetables with noodles or vegetable-based soups are all excellent ways to introduce new flavors without having to eat vegetables raw.
Photo: Angie McGowan
Tip #8 – Give it a new form 9 of 11
Things like zucchini caterpillars may seem silly, but vegetables in a new form can suddenly appeal to kids! Little things like zucchini boats are so fanciful and interesting to children. You'll be amazed at what they'll try!
Photo: Macki Cayloma
Tip #9 – Get them into the kitchen 10 of 11
Bring kids into the kitchen while you cook and introduce them to basic recipes. The more involved they are the more likely they are to try what they've made! If they are old enough, let them handle a knife and chop away. If not, let them toss salads and dip vegetables in homemade ranch dressing for a delicious snack.
Photo: Brooklyn Supper
Tip #10 – Think French 11 of 11
Remember how the French introduce great eating habits to their children very early? Teach your kid to eat like a French kid - it works at any age!
Photo: Brooklyn Supper