Don’t know how to convince your children to eat vegetables? Here are some tips prepared by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to persuade those little ones.
When a baby reaches six months of age, green, leafy and yellow vegetables may already be given. Vegetables that are mashed, strained, chopped, or cut into tiny pieces can be added to the baby’s complementary food. This will not only improve the nutritive value of the baby’s food but it will also develop the baby’s tastes.
To promote the consumption of vegetables, parents or caregivers must set a good example for children by eating vegetables themselves. Parents should also monitor their own eating habits so their children will imitate them.
Make sure that vegetables are always part of family meals. It must be available when and where children want to eat and must be easy to eat.
Start offering new vegetables at the beginning of the meal when children are the hungriest, make it more appealing and exciting by cutting it into different shapes.
Vegetables can also be mixed with other food that children like to eat. Add a little fat, sugar, or iodized salt to make vegetable dishes appealing to their taste buds.
One of the best ways to encourage children to eat vegetables is by involving them in preparing meals. They can also help in selecting and buying vegetables.
Kids’ consumption of food cannot exactly be monitored during school hours. Snacks for school can look more appealing if there’s lettuce, tomatoes, or cabbages in the child’s sandwiches. Cut-up vegetables can also be included as a snack like slices of carrots.
Prepare vegetable dishes in new and different ways. Encourage children to take a bite or taste it. Just keep serving the vegetable dish in different shapes and ways until kids develop a liking for it.
When all else fails, be creative. Hide the vegetables in the dish. Shred or blend vegetables in other dishes such as soups and sauces or even use it as added ingredients to burgers, lumpia, and even desserts like yema, leche flan, and halaya.
Try to grow a family kitchen garden and involve children. Kids appreciate the food if they know how these vegetables were grown and prepared.
Do not force children to eat vegetables. Kids will most likely eat vegetables when they are not forced to do so.