Vegetables, the bane of every person who has ever been forced to gobble them up at their parents’ command. Indeed, there are many who cast a baleful eye towards vegetables well into their adulthood after being forced to chew through them in their childhood, ultimately depriving themselves of the many healthy nutrients found in them.
So, how can parents make it easier – perhaps even pleasurable – for their kids to eat vegetables? To not make them detest the sight of those leafy greens, and make sure the children get a healthy diet? Well, it isn’t the easiest task, but hopefully with the help of this article, you will find the process to be a somewhat easier one.
Lead by Example
If you as a parent do not like eating vegetable and often complain about it in front of your kids, then they will inadvertently end up picking that habit from you – plus it’ll make you a hypocrite in front of them. Lead by example, set a positive front before your children and eat vegetables with fervour. A parent is a child’s first hero, and they are likely to emulate all that you do, so make sure you set a good example before them.
Make it Fun
Children may not like eating vegetables such as broccoli and brinjals. In that case, make the process of eating a fun game for them. Make stories around the food, create challenges, and induce a slight competition around it. For example, the broccoli and salad can be the trees and swampy forests which they have to cross to escape the evil goons and creatures chasing them!
Offer Diversity in Colour & Taste
Children are attracted to colour and taste, so one way to make sure they eat their vegetables is to turn it into a culinary treat. Make the food colourful and attractive, it is a proven method which works in restaurants. Secondly, make it as tasty as possible, gastronomic delights are impossible to turn down. Having a palate which is full of colours is sure to attract your kids and make them chomp down on the offerings.
Add Side Dishes
Use accompaniments such as butter, garlic, naan and the like to make veggies palatable to picky eaters. A light brushing of butter or adding a cheese slice to the food can be enough motivation and convince kids to clean the dish. Having a side of bacon, eggs, mashed potatoes and hash browns can not only be a good way to make children eat all the food before them, it also makes for a complete meal.
Use the Carrot & Stick Method
No, this does not mean literally forcing your children to eat a carrot. Rather, it means rewarding good behaviour of finishing their veggies by offering them a delicious, sweet dessert at the end. Caramel custard, chocolate brownie, ice-cream, or similar desserts at the end of a meal as positive reinforcement can go a long way in making kids eat veggies. Similarly, not finishing food can be punished through depriving them of those sweets, or some other form of firm but fair and strict behaviour.