Is your child refusing to eat anything but chicken nuggets and french fries? All too often, kids are bingeing on unhealthy snack foods instead of fruits and vegetables—children today can go days without consuming any greens at all. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests vegetables should be consumed with every meal and snack. However, produce intake can be difficult when kids are picky eaters.
Despite the ongoing battle to ensure your child is receiving a well-balanced diet, nutrition doesn’t have to be a dreaded topic in your household. Get young ones interested in eating vegetables by involving them in mealtime and making it fun.
Rainbow Pizza – Bring a pot of gold to the table with rainbow pizza and embrace eating healthy in a way your kids will enjoy. The vibrant colors of red and orange peppers, green broccoli, and purple cabbage will entertain your family as they bite through each colorful layer.
Veggie Go-Gurt – Pre-packaged and store-bought yogurt contains sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial dyes. Make a healthy and sweet snack for your family with homemade go-gurt. Blending fruit with plain yogurt is super tasty and you can take it a step further by adding vegetables to the recipe.
Veggie Bugs – Create ladybugs and dragonflies out of vegetables to make healthy eating fun for youngsters with critters. Be creative and use bell pepper slices as butterfly wings or snap peas as stick bugs. Let your kids have fun and make up their own bugs.
Be Creative with Veggies
Catchy Names – Kids won’t eat vegetables? Rename them. “X-ray vision carrots” is better than saying carrots. Scientists suggest creating catchy and amusing monikers to encourage children to eat more vegetables. Cool names, whether it be “power peas” or “dinosaur broccoli trees,” will woo kids into thinking veggies are fun to eat.
Scavenger Hunt – Start a produce scavenger hunt in the grocery store. Choose a fruit or vegetable and give your child clues on the mystery produce item. You can both have fun and learn about healthy foods together.
Picky Pickers – Go grocery shopping with your kids and let them be in charge of the healthier aspects you wish to encourage. Ask them to find the best tomatoes or kale, and motivate them to choose the vegetables that are tasty to them. Having kids be involved with food shopping will let them feel as if they have ownership over the meal, and they will be more likely to eat their food.
Gardening – Bring excitement to vegetables by allowing kids to have their own garden. Ask them what type of greens they would be interested in planting and let them grow their own produce. Your kids will enjoy the process and will be motivated by the results they’ve created.
Cooking – Tell your kids to put on their cooking aprons and help you in the kitchen. Encourage them to stir, mix, and cut different foods. This will greatly increase their chance of trying the finished product. Cooking with your kids is an excellent way to talk about healthy ingredients and another way of bonding.
What your child eats today will have an impact on his or her health as they grow. Consuming nourishing foods will result in better growth and development. Get your young ones involved and have fun together by adding nutrition to your meal plan.