Getting children to eat their veggies can be a harrowing experience, but as any nanny knows, it is important for both their health and development. As such, it is important to find ways to convince or trick them into not just eating, but enjoying carrots, peas, green beans and broccoli. In order to streamline this process there are a few tricks you can employ.
By encouraging children to eat their vegetables you'll not only be opening them up to new experiences but improving their health. Remember to try to include veggies with every meal and play up how tasty and nutritious they are.
Here are a few tricks you can use to encourage vegetable eating:
Introduce them one at a time – Introducing new vegetables one at a time will help your charges accept them more easily because it's a gradual change. You can focus on getting them to try a new vegetable in a variety of ways, rather than overwhelming them with new tastes. Furthermore, you can incorporate the new vegetables into meals with their favorite foods to make them more appealing.
Show them how to prepare healthy foods – Cooking with children is a great way to get them interested in a new food. If they see how a veggie is prepared, they might be more interested in trying it, and you can incorporate unique preparation styles, such as amusing cuts, which will be a fun way to teach the child cooking techniques.
Teach by example – Another great way to introduce new vegetables to your charges' meals is to eat them yourself. If you eat healthily and explain your eating habits to your charges, they may be interested in emulating you and adopting your healthy habits as well, which means more vegetables and an easier time convincing them to try new ones.
Try smoothies and juices – If you struggle to get your charges to try raw or cooked vegetables, consider other preparation methods, such as juicing them or turning them into smoothies. Mixing vegetables and fruit into a juice or smoothie allows you to add them to any meal. Just remember to prepare these beverages in an 80/20 ratio to minimize fruit sugars and boost their vegetable intake.
Use healthy dips – Another way to make vegetables a fun snack is to incorporate healthy items to dip them in, such as peanut butter or hummus. These items will make the veggies more appealing but keep them healthier than a ranch dressing or sugary sauce.