blog

6 tips for getting veggies into your kids!

 

GET MY FREE CHEAT-SHEET

8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me
JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

As a student clinician at the Boucher Naturopathic Clinic in New Westminster, parents often ask me how they can encourage their children to eat more vegetables. We all want our kids to eat healthier, but daily food battles are exhausting, and serving junk food often seems easier. However, the junk food short-cut often comes back with increased rates of colds and flus, decreased attention span at school, and increased behavioural challenges at home. Here are some of my favourite tips for increasing veggie intake – the tips are for kids, though you may find they work for your partner as well!

1. Keep persisting: let’s be honest, most kids won’t like broccoli or spinach TerraLifeBrocollithe first time. In fact, most kids need to try something 15 times before their palate becomes accustomed to it. That means offering again and again – at least one bite each time – until they are used to the taste. We have a rule in our house that our kids have to try everything offered – at least one bite – even if they’re not excited about it. Don’t give up!

2. Make veggies easily available: just like adults, when kids are hungry they will snack on whatever is easy. Make vegetables the first option offered – if they are hungry, they will go for it. Our kids pick ten veggies (carrot stick, slice of pepper, cucumber slice, etc) to eat as a snack every day before their lunch. Try leaving a “veggie box” in the fridge of pre-sliced veggies in a large tupperware so that it’s easy to do up a veggie snack plate during story time, after school or while waiting for dinner to get ready.

3. Record it: kids love keeping track of things – here are some fun options:

  • create a sticker chart for each serving of vegetables/fruit they eat (a serving being one fruit, a pepper, 2 carrots, 1 handful of broccoli, etc) – try for five servings per day

FruitVeggieTracker

  • create a rainbow for them to colour in when they eat a fruit or veggie of that colour – try to fill it in each day

4. Engage your kids: getting your kids involved will increase their interest in actually eating the vegetables. Here’s some ideas:

  • TerraLifeCookingGarden with your kids – let them pick some of the vegetables to plant this year, and engage them every step of the way – from seed to harvesting. You’ll be shocked at how often they graze from the garden!
  • Cook with your kids – invite them to pick out a healthy recipe once a week and help you prepare it – find fun ways together to present the food
  • Grocery shop with your kids – invite them to pick a new produce item every week to try out
  • TerraLifeVeggieBikePick a food item to learn about each week as a family – what vitamins/nutrients are in it, and how it helps you do the things you love to do – this will help kids understand what makes a food “healthy” and how it relates to them

5. Role modelling: much as we all might prefer to binge on pizza every night after the kids go to bed, it is important to model eating a healthy, balanced diet for our kids. Eating the family meal together, and joining in with the veggie snack plate will help create healthy family eating habits.

6. Appeal to their palate: eating is more fun when it tastes good! Veggies can be hidden in muffins and smoothies, minced veggies can be added to burgers and sauces without much notice. There are even cookbooks that specialize in hiding vegetables, including Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield. Dips (including nut butters and hummus) also go a long way to making vegetables more interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 

GET MY FREE CHEAT-SHEET

8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me