Making sure your child is healthy is your top priority as a parent. That includes ensuring your child eats a well-balanced diet, including vegetables. If you’re having difficulties getting your child to eat their veggies, here are some tips to try.
1. Set an Example
Your child will likely want to eat what his parents are eating so be sure to eat your veggies, too! Try to have at least one green veggie with dinner each evening and your kids will likely eat it.
2. Enforce the “one bite rule”
If your child says he doesn’t like something, still make him try it first. Research has consistently shown that, when exposed to a food at least 8-10 times, it will be accepted. Lima beans or peas may not be something your child wants to try but have them try it anyway. And, don’t give up!
3. Make food fun!
Broccoli is one of those veggies that most kids don’t like. It looks like a funny little tree and kids don’t want to eat trees. Or, do they? You could have your child pretend he’s a dinosaur who needs to eat his “trees” to avoid T-Rex.
4. Use Positive Reinforcement
When your child does eat his veggies, give him a reward. He’ll equate his reward with eating veggies and he’ll want to eat more of them. For instance, give your child a sticker for trying a new veggie and he’ll be certain to try more in the future.
5. Let Your Child Help
Kids like to participate in things, especially those deemed as “grown up” things. Take your child to the market and let him pick out one or two veggies he finds interesting. Kids, even small ones, can help you make dinner every once in a while. Have your child wash the veggies, mix the salad dressing, or set the table. If the child feels included, it gives them a sense of pride and makes them more flexible at dinner.
To your health and wellness,
Dr. Roger Sahoury.