Its hard to get our kids to eat veggies. Here are some ways that I am using to get my son to eat more veggies.
1. Party trays! My son will eat the veggies and dip them into the veggie dip. He loves it! And has no ideas that they are good for him .
2. Salad. My son, as weird as he is, likes salad. BUT, doesn’t eat it right. He will put the lettuce in one area, and the egg in another area, and the cheese here, and whatever else he wants. They are never mixed. And the dressing goes in the middle of the plate to allow for dipping. He is weird, yes, but at least he eats it. Whatever floats his boat!
3. Say Broccoli are mini trees! I am trying to get my son to eat broccoli cooked. I tell him, “Tthe broccoli are mini trees. They help you grow big and strong!” He is starting to, but not very often.
4. I don’t expect him to eat anything that I don’t like. Such as Brussels sprouts. Yuck. If I don’t eat it, why do I expect him to eat it?
5. I let him watch his cousins eat them. If he sees other kids eating something, he is more inclined to eat it. Its worked so far with peaches and pineapple. I plan on using it to combat veggies next.
6. I tell him he cannot say he does not like it if he has not tried it. And eventually he gives in and tries it. He found out he likes carrots this way. But only small carrots. Not big ones LOL. His teacher even taught him “You have to try it, to see if you like it”. So I use that against him often.
7. Show their favorite cartoon eating it. If they like Spongebob, try to find a video, whether online or in a show, of him eating a certain food. You can also say that Sea Kelp is Lettuce, and that Spongebob likes it, so they should at least try it.
8. I let my son help me cook the foods that I don’t think he will want. For example, he hated chicken for the longest time. And I had him help me boil it. This way it would not be burned, would be the right texture for him (he has a form of autism, and certain textures he does not like). He helped me add the seasonings, and the herbs. He tried it, and he liked it! I plan on using this method for a few veggies. Like corn (helping me add butter and salt and pepper), and even broccoli (cooked in EVOO and salt, pepper and red and green bell peppers).
9. Offer something to dip it in. My son is weird. And I really mean weird. He believes that everything has a dippy (what he calls dipping sauces). So, most cold veggies can be dipped in either ranch, or a veggie dip. Cooked veggies can be dipped in sauce too – we have not found a dippy for cooked veggies. But some butter mixed in seems to be doing Ok for now.
10. Introduce veggies slowly. I will only do a veggie every once in a while. I don’t try to make him try a new one every day. That’s too much for him. Every other week or so, I bring him to try a new kind of food. Whether it’s a veggie or not. Pork chops was our most recent tryout. He did not like them. But dipped in sour cream, he loved it. There is usually a win. Its just a matter of finding it.
I want to mention that I never bribe my son. Because they they will expect it every time they eat. And I don’t even want to begin that. Most psychologists even warn against it, because then the child will start using you for that. I will however tell him if he doesn’t eat, he will be in his room the rest of the night, and that he needs to eat at least half of what's there. That usually works for him.
So tell me – what do you do to help your kids try and like veggies? Any recipe ideas you can share?
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About Peas and Thank You
Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. It's filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist—no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.” Sarah Matheny'sdelicious recipes and entertaining stories draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to her blog, peasandthankyou.com each month, where she makes raising a vegetarian family easy and fun. She is the author of “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.”
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