If your kids aren’t huge fans of vegetables, don’t give up hope! Sometimes, the best place to start is to simply familiarize your little one with this new food group before pressuring them to eat it. Learning more about vegetables (i.e. by playing with them, coloring pictures of them, smelling them, feeling them, cutting them, etc.) could build their confidence to eventually taste them. Maneuvering picky eating is a daunting task and it takes plenty of patience (from both you and your child). Consider some of these ideas below before you throw in the towel!
1. Explore the colorful veggies at the grocery story. Talk with your kids about all the different colors they can see in the produce section. Ask them what their favorite color vegetable is. Encourage them to notice the variety of shapes. If you plan on buying a certain vegetable, let your child hold and feel it. Ask them to describe it’s texture, etc.
2. Let them help you in the kitchen. If you’re cooking vegetables for the rest of the family, allow your child to help you prepare the dish. Without pressuring them to eat the veggie dish, encourage them to be a part of the cooking process. This creates a sense of safety and familiarity with the food once it’s placed on their plate at dinner time.
3. Eat vegetables in front of them. As you know, our kids learn from us. If they observe us enjoying a variety of different foods, they’re likely to do the same. If they see us express disgust towards vegetables and avoid them, you can bet they will do the same. The next time you’re preparing your own plate, remember who’s watching!
4. Read books about vegetables. Again, warming your child up to the idea of vegetables is the first step towards getting them to eat them. By reading books with colorful pictures of vegetables, they’re conditioned to recognize those same foods when they see them on the dinner table. It’s possible that your kiddos will want to bring the pages to life by cooking that same vegetable for dinner that night!
5. Color pictures of veggies. Similar to the idea above!
6. Play with your food! While this tip seems a little counterintuitive, it’s extremely helpful for combatting pickiness. Chop up a variety of vegetables into different shapes and let your children make works of art on their plates! Some ideas include silly faces, rainbows, animals, or spelling their name.
Can you think of any other fun ways to spark intrigue amongst your children? Let us know on our Facebook page!