When we make veggies the star of the plate and they are not competing with pizza or chips, kids are more likely to try and less likely to fuss. This isn’t an excuse not to serve a side of carrot sticks with your pizza but research shows less veggie waste occurs when it’s playing the leading roll in a meal or snack.
Since this kid was a baby I was giving him all of the veggies to try. We made it normal, low pressure and fun. Yes, he gets all the snacks while at school, church or grandmas but at home he knows what to expect.
When they refuse whole food groups, it’s often more about what they are eating and less about what they wont. It is normal to not like new foods, at first. That is why continuously offering and exposing them to the right choices is key. Processed and foods high in refined sugars trigger signals in our brain similar to drug reactions, so it’s no wonder the go straight to tantrum mode for the packaged goodies. Mine do it too!
Top ways to get kids eating more vegetables is: offer them often, reduce processed foods, and get them involved. This can be picking out meals, helping cook, or talking about why fruit and veggies are so good for you with your kids.
The Center for Disease and Control says that 9 out of 10 kids don’t eat enough veggies. That’s important because eating right keeps us well and helps our bodies function properly. There is no easy button, but there is hope, and it is worth every messy step to keep trying. If they won’t eat veggies but will eat fruit. That’s great! Keep giving them ALL the fruit but never give up on offering vegetables. If you are worried about waste only offer them a small portion or few bites. But it’s important that they are accustomed to seeing it on their plate. This is not a call to perfection, none of us are, but to learn new lifestyle patterns that eventually make meal times easier for everyone.
My husband was a seriously picky eater and grew up eating mostly white bread and cheese. Today he is an upstanding, successful and healthy individual. So, if you have a strong willed picky eater at home, and you don’t kill them first, there is hope they will make it into adulthood. I have been working on my husband’s affection for vegetables over the years. Slowly wearing him down! The only vegetable I still can’t get him to eat is broccoli. Well, I take that back, if it’s cut up real small like in my Quick Gobble Stir Fry he can’t tell the difference. We both win!
Live well friends,