Here are some ways for Parents to encourage children to consume greens.
By Rachel Goodchild
Getting children to eat vegetables is a problem parents have had for decades. The trick is to know how to make it fun and have your child wanting to eat vegetables.
Normally, the time a child is ready to eat vegetables is also the time when you have to warn them of the dangers of plants in the garden. Somehow a balance needs to be made, between avoiding plants which are poisonous and eating vegetables.
Try growing your own vegetables, and letting your child have their own area. They are more likely to eat something they have grown.
But, it you are unable to grow your own vegetables, then you need to get creative in order to get them to eat their greens.
What you must avoid is giving them too many, too quickly. Having five portions of vegetables on their plate when they are not used to eating them is a recipe for disaster.
Let your child be involved in preparing meals. Kids love pizza, so why not have lots of vegetables that they can arrange on the pizza themselves, which can then make a face or pattern. You can introduce new flavors for them to learn what they taste like.
Another thing kids love is burgers, so why not make your own burger and add various finely chopped vegetables to the meat, or even create vegetable burger for them.
Spaghetti squash is a great vegetable for children, because when it is cooked, it separates and looks like spaghetti. Add tomato sauce with lots of chopped vegetable and you have a great pasta dish, without the pasta.
Why not make a new rule that everybody has to have at least a little taste of something before being allowed to say they don’t like it.
Kids often put off vegetables, especially if they are overcooked, and they hear adults talking about how much they hate vegetables. They think “if my parents hate vegetables, then why should I have to eat them?”
If adults and children participate in this one, then you will find that kids will eat more and more vegetables.
Do your kids love muffins? If so, then you can add vegetables to these – zucchini, carrots, and pumpkin make wonderful muffins. These vegetables can also be used to make bread, which can be the basis of the sandwiches you give your kids daily.
Another way is to make a great dip, using ingredients that kids love, and then have carrot, celery and other vegetables for them to dip into the sauce.
If you use your imagination, you will be able to get your kids to eat their veggies every day, until one day they will eat them with their dinner without problems.
You might find they don’t like all vegetables, but use the ones they not only like, but have come to love. This is one green battle parents can win.
the art of parenting
Tuesday, March 4, 2008