Heading into Halloween and the winter holidays, ‘tis the season where your kids are bound to overload on sugar. Balancing out the pumpkin pie and gingerbread houses with hearty vegetables will help keep your kids healthy and energetic, but how do you convince your little ones to eat more veggies with so many other tempting treats around? We have a few tips to encourage your kids to get excited about vegetables.
Walk the walk
If your kids see you eating vegetables, they will be more convinced to eat their greens. Eating healthy choices all together as a family is the best way to set nutritious examples for your children.
Don’t camouflage your veggies
It may be tempting to trick your kids into eating vegetables by hiding them in cauliflower mash or blending spinach into smoothies, but presenting vegetables honestly and deliciously is the most effective way to help your kids form a good relationship with healthy eating choices. Not to say you shouldn’t indulge in adding veggies to more foods, but be open about it so they know that healthy and delicious can co-exist.
Enjoy this journey together
Let your child explore foods. Use smell, taste, and touch to explore different vegetable options and encourage them to establish favorites. Teach them how to prep and cook vegetables and enjoy the food journey.
Let them know what to expect
Get your child into the habit of expecting fruits and vegetables at every meal. Teach them vegetables are the rule, not the exception.
Consider how you reward your child
If you offer ice cream as a reward for finishing green beans, your child will learn to love ice cream and demonize green beans. Teach them that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation and all play a different role in making our bodies strong and healthy.
From the archive: This popular healthy living story was originally published on The Optimist Daily November 2019.