Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ten Tips and Tricks to get Your Children to Eat their Veggies.

WOW! I was so surprised when I saw not only one writing post from Social Moms today but two! This is amazing:) Please make sure to read them both, maybe leave a comment or two:) On this post Social Moms is teaming up with Sarah Matheny. Now I didn't know who this was before I found out about this opportunity today. But I am soo glad I did! Take a look at her website, Peas and Thank You and see what I am talking about:)

So, I am going to give ten tips and hints on how to get your children to eat their veggies. I really do not have that hard of a time doing it in our family. Only one is really picky about her eating and the rest are kind of scavengers, so they will eat about anything. But you can always learn tips on how to get even more into their diet. So, here goes!

1.Make Veggie Eating Fun.
We often dress up our veggies and have fun with them. This really worked when they were little and not so much now but I still find this is a good idea. We would take celery sticks and put peanut butter on them and then they could add raisins or nuts on top. Take veggies and make a scene with them. Use your carrot sticks and have fun with them:)

2.Blend them In.
In our house we like to make smoothies. And most of the time it is done with berries and yogurt. But there are several really good vegetable juice smoothie recipes that I have found on the internet. They are good for you and they taste good to!

3.Have the Kids Help Shop.
Take the kids shopping with you and let them pick out a new vegetable to try out. One for the whole family to try. This gives them a sense of adventure in picking out a new item for the whole family to taste.

4.Use Veggies as Substitutes.
One time a while back we had a pie that a friend brought over. Now this was supposed to be apple pie. But come to find out, after we finished it, it happened to be zucchini instead of apple! See how many recipes like this you can find on the internet and try them at your house. We couldn't taste a difference at all in this pie!

5.Plant A Garden.
This really helped when our kids were younger and even now today. When the children are out helping take care of the garden, they feel like it is something they can try. If they helped plant it and take care of it, they are more apt to try it.

6.Hide It In A Recipe.
In our house we like stew. It is very easy to add veggies that the kids don't even notice. Add some carrots and throw in some squash and most of the time they won't even catch it.

7.Make it Mandatory.
Sometimes we just have to look at them and tell them to eat it. In our house, one child really likes this pasta salad that you make from a box. But there are peas in this salad. He has often been found trying to skim them out of the pasta as it cooks. But he has been told that he has to eat them if he want the pasta salad. And guess what? He eats them! If they want something bad enough, they will get through what they have to.

8.Set Out A Veggie Tray.
We found that even those who don't like veggies sometimes will eat off the veggie tray. Maybe it is the fun of dipping the carrot sticks in the ranch dressing or swirling the celery through the peanut butter. Either way, make it easier for them to eat by setting out a veggie tray with lunch and dinner.

9.Have A Culture Night.
Other cultures tend to eat more veggies than we do. Whether it is Chinese food, Mexican, etc. Have a night where you feature a different setting. Chinese food is a great way to get in the extra veggies. And when you mix it in with all the rice and sauces, they can't even tell!

10.Be Flexible.
Finally, last but not least, let them choose and decide. We often tend to force them to eat something that we don't eat. I understand urging a child to try something, we have a rule that you have to try a food twice, but sometimes we push too much. I love spinach, but most of the rest of the family doesn't. That is okay by me and I have my spinach to myself:) So long as they are getting some vegetables in their daily diet, that is good. Try to work them in when you can but don't stress over it. That just makes it worse for you and the child. Have fun and be flexible!

I hope this gave you some new tips on getting your children to eat their vegetables. Leave a comment with your tips for me, I could use them:)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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