5 tips to get kids to eat their veggies
We all know that the world is filled with picky eaters, but if you are a growing kid, it’s important to eat a balanced diet. In fact, research shows that only 22 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 meet recommendations for vegetable consumption.
So if your child is a picky eater, you’re certainly not alone. Barb Fine, a registered dietician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., says kids have a natural tendency to choose sweet and salty foods over veggies.
That’s why she recommends parents play a huge role in modeling good eating habits for their kids. Here are a few helpful tips Fine suggests to get your child on a healthy eating path:
Schedule a shopping trip. Taking your child to the grocery store is a great way to get them to help pick out healthier food options. The more participation kids have in making food choices, the more likely they are to sample new things.
Kids can cook. When your child is old enough to manage their way around the kitchen, they can be great little helpers. Kids, like mom and dad, are more likely to try what they are cooking, so it’s a great opportunity to get them to incorporate veggies into meals.
Mix it up. If your child does not like a certain vegetable, try preparing it a different way. There are many sites online that offer kid-friendly recipes. Parents can check out websites like the sneaky chef that offer creative ways to include veggies in your child’s dishes.
Blend it. Smoothies and sauces are also a great way to mix in fruits and vegetables. Combining the two can actually make veggies more enticing.
Follow the 4-bite rule. Kids don’t have to eat everything on their plate, but try getting them to take at least four bites of each dish. It’s a fun game that encourages healthy eating.
Fine says a child’s eating habits will not change overnight, but if parents are patient and positive, they can make the journey to healthier eating a fun adventure for all.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.