Let’s just be honest, kids can be a pain in the butt. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my children but I often feel like pulling my hair out when trying to get over certain hurdles in the growing up process. One of the most common issues most parents have is getting their kids to eat vegetables. Man, back in the day, I wasn’t super fond of veggies but now that I’m older, I love them. Why must life be so difficult? Why can’t we just start loving them at a younger age? Anyways, although it’s a struggle and feels like a game more times than not, there are easier ways to get kids to eat their veggies outside of threatening them with a year of grounding.
Sneak it into the food – Sometimes making things like veggie burgers where the veggies don’t taste like veggies helps your kids to smoothly get a serving or two of veggies in for the day. Of course, there are plenty of ways to do this but it will take a bit of trial and error to find which recipes they will eat.
Use vitamins – In this day and age, there are a ton of natural alternatives to forcing broccoli down your child. There are even gummies that are just for getting you all your servings of veggies for the day without having to actually eat all the veggies.
Make it fun – Often times eating vegetables can be stressful before the meal even gets put on the table. Make veggie time fun. If you have to, make it to where they earn good points or a prize for finishing their veggies.
Make it a goal – Encourage your child to make it through their veggies by again, making it fun. Break it up into a goal. Say they have 5 pieces of broccoli they need to eat. Come up with something fun if they make it to a goal such as two pieces. For example, you get one bite of dessert for every two pieces of broccoli you eat. If you eat all 5 pieces, the rest of the dessert is yours!
Be honest with them – Sometimes, telling the kids they’re going to love a veggie such as spinach is just mean. You know they’re probably going to hate it so don’t get their hopes up because then it just makes your job harder when they find out it’s gross. So be honest with them about the fact you most likely don’t like it either and sometimes when they see you still eating it, they find the will to do so as well.
Eat it with them – Sometimes kids just need a partner to get through those gross veggies. Challenge them or make gross faces with them as you both eat it. Don’t abandon them at the table as they whine about not wanting to eat their veggies, it rarely goes anywhere.
Don’t force them to finish – The worst possible thing you can do is force a kid to eat the entire pile of gross veggies. The veggies are usually left until last so kids are most likely close to full or already full as it is. Maybe set a limit of bites they need to take in order to get up from the table. My mom was queen of this and it worked!
Eat the veggies first – When first starting a meal, everyone is hungry and at this point, it’s easier to eat certain foods. Try making dinner a three course meal and serve the veggies first by themselves. This often times will make it easier to get through the battle of eating veggies.