I hear you asking, How do I get my kids to beg for veggies? Well- I am not a vegetarian,(oh man I love a good hamburger and fries!) however my family eats a lot of fruits and veggies every meal. When I was in junior high my mother became deathly ill and as a result of this when she recovered my mom changed our family’s diet. My mom removed processed foods, sugar and the minimal junk food in our pantry and replaced it with healthy substitutes like: Agave, coconut oil, brown rice, quinoa, live sprouts and more. My mom spent sooo much time going to classes learning how to prepare everything from scratch and preparing an appetizing raw diet meal. Although our family diet was delicious, when I moved to college and became too busy with classes the last thing I thought about was making those healthy meals all the time. Now out of college and with kiddies of my own, I believe I have found a happy balanced diet of the way I was raised and keeping my steak hungry husband happy with these eleven tips….
- Teach them young to try to eat everything. I don’t force my kids to eat everything but they have to try it- by….
- Using 4 out of 5 senses: sight, smell, touch, taste when introducing a new food. And if the kiddies don’t like it today- that’s fine. No worries- the next week, or next month the same food is re-introduced. Just like us adults, our kids are entitled to change their opinions to and they usually do!
- Grow a garden or pick fresh produce. When we know where our food comes from, it’s more exciting and of course more rewarding to eat after you’ve worked for that food too!
4. Don’t limit your diet by your distastes. My husband HATES yogurt and yet I love it! Shane and I both agreed that no matter what, we wouldn’t tell our kids if we don’t like a food, dinner etc. In fact, last week my six year old daughter just found out that my hubby does not like yogurt, she almost fell off her chair in surprise. We had a good laugh about it. 😉
5. Grocery shopping with kids- buy the veggies/fruit they want. You obviously have to pick and choose the things you buy at the grocery store- but when you give your kiddies the chance to choose between grapes and apples and let them decide which fruit they want that week- they will pick those things to snack on. Which by the way….
6. Afternoon snacks offerings are real foods like: apples, oranges, carrots, celery- My kiddies know if they are hungry the fridge drawer of fruit and veggies is always open. I would rather have them full on real foods then on junk.
7. Let your kids cook and prepare foods with you. I grew up knowing the story of “Chicken Little”. Basically- if you want to eat- you help prepare the meal. Therefore our extremely small, one-bum-kitchen is packed to capacity with all the little people being responsible for preparing or helping prepare something for our meals.
8. Play restaurant with kabobs. Grilling season is almost here-yum!! And the best part- the kids get to choose the foods they want.
9. Make the display of food pretty. My daughter loves being in charge of making food look pretty because she can snitch as she goes, but kids in general are more interested in eating new foods when it looks pretty. (Covering foods in chocolate works wonders too!)
10. If all of these tips fail you…. Check out this book: Deceptively Delicious: Simple secrets to get your kids eating good foods. I don’t use all of these recipes, but the concept of changing out one thing for veggies- is fantastic!
11. Hide those veggies. In smoothies- YUM! (I will talk more about this and my love-affair with my VitaMix later.) Replace spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash. Just last week I made spaghetti squash for my family topping it with grilled veggies and red sauce. My little man did not like the texture of the “noodles”, they were too squishy. I told him it was a different type of noodle called angel hair. Ten bites later, I showed Link what the angel hair really was, he had a good laugh and told me that squash was the best ever.
I am in no way the perfect example of eating or giving my kids the right foods, like all mother’s we are just doing our best. However, if these little tips to getting your kiddies to beg for healthy foods has helped- then yippee! How do you get your kids to eat healthy? Share your successes and tips here. Keep checking back for more helpful tips on achieving a healthy, happy home here at Mommyconvos and maybe your story will be featured!