If you are a parent of a child or children, then you definitely know the fight that occurs during lunch or dinner time when it involves vegetables being put on the plate. It is no secret that most kids do not like eating vegetables. All parents know about the hassles, the arguments, the struggles, and the all-to-common: “You’re going to sit there until you eat all of your vegetables, even if it means all night!” Every parent remembers that line as a child growing up and has used it on their own kids today.
As a father of two young ones (8-years old and 4-years old), there has definitely been struggles in getting them to eat their vegetables. At times even a standoff in getting them to eat their vegetables. As a child growing up, vegetables were something that I enjoyed eating. Now in all honesty, I did not enjoy every vegetable that was put on the plate (i.e. squash, Brussels sprouts). But I did enjoy eating corn, green peas, green beans, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and even beets. I’m not sure why that was the case, perhaps its growing up in a Bahamian family background and the vegetables were just seasoned right.
We all know that vegetables are healthy and nutritional for our bodies and minds. But somewhere the notion that vegetables are terrible has warped the minds of the current generation of kids. It is easy to explain why this is a problem mostly because eating healthy is not always discussed in school, many YouTube Kids’ videos highlight the bad taste of vegetables, and lastly, a lot of parents DO NOT eat vegetables themselves. My two kids struggled and fought hard against eating vegetables in the beginning. The first vegetable we got them both to eat were carrots. Believe me, it was no easy task the first couple of times. I can honestly say there is really no special technique other than keep putting it on their plate and staying firm about them eating vegetables. Our one trick was to have them eat at least one carrot, and then slowly start having them eat more and more at each meal. Another trick of ours would be to mix (or hide) it within a favorite dish of theirs (i.e. rice). Once they were comfortable with eating carrots, we would slowly introduce another vegetable with it being corn. We have continued on introducing new vegetables, the newest being sauteed Brussels sprouts. Believe me, it can happen.
So my advice to any parent in getting your little one(s) to eat their vegetables: stay firm, stay strong, and take it day-by-day. It won’t be easy by any stretch to get them to eat vegetables at first, but keep fighting through it. As the parent, you have to set the example by placing and eating vegetables on your plate as well. As your child sees you eating vegetables it will make them want to eat theirs too. Take one victory bite at a time…praise them and continue to put vegetables on their plate.
What are some examples of how you got your little ones to eat their vegetables? Leave a comment below.