There’s no denying the fact that fruits and vegetables are the cornerstones of healthy living. Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, these plant-based bounties are your best friends.
But what if a child is involved? Getting a child to like fruits and vegetables is a challenge on its own. Thankfully, kitchen staples like a basic blender can make this challenge easier. Here are some things you can do to encourage your kid to eat more veggies.
- Set an example
Sometimes, the most straightforward step is the most important. You cannot expect your child to eat healthy if you’re not practicing it yourself. Children look up to their parents for guidance, so they end up emulating what’s around them. If they regularly see you eating fruits and vegetables, chances are they’ll want to try it too.
Not a fan of certain foods? Use this opportunity to try something new with your kid. Not only can you have fun experiencing new things together, but you also instill the idea that trying different foods is enjoyable and rewarding.
- Start with familiar tastes
It’s harder to get picky kids to try new things, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Observe what they like and how they like it. Do they want fruit juices, or do they prefer smoothies? Do they like vegetables in soups or would they rather have them steamed?
If you don’t know where to start, fruits are always kid-friendly. Thanks to their natural sweetness, it doesn’t take much for kids to like them. Try incorporating fruits as daily snacks or “desserts.”
- Shake things up
You don’t always have to stick to serving fruits as is or steaming vegetables. There are loads of ways to introduce them to kids without compromising on nutrition.
For example, that personal blender you have in your cupboard can be convenient. Are you bored of munching on strawberries? Chop them up and toss them in the blender with some low-fat yogurt! Got some straggler fruits that you just can’t bear to eat anymore? Throw them in the blender or juicer for some mixed fruit treat!
- Play with your food
Plating in restaurants is usually a big deal, but you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to entice your little one. Encouraging young tikes to eat can be a visual experience, so why not make their plate look playful? Search for images of Japanese lunch boxes online to get some ideas.
Don’t have enough time for elaborate decorations? Cookie cutters can help you cut things in different shapes, so try those instead. Even if you’re not a master lunch box decorator, the colors and variety of shapes can keep your young one interested.
- Search for recipes
If you’re having trouble introducing a particular vegetable, think of different ways you can serve them. For example, broccoli doesn’t always have to be steamed. You can roast them with a spritz of lemon juice, or you can serve them in a hearty soup along with other vegetables. Cauliflower is great with different kinds of curries, while carrots are versatile and can take seasoning flavors well.
As a bonus, trying out new recipes ensures that your family gets a serving of vegetables in every meal.
- Get them involved and hands-on
If your child is trying something but they’re not quite sure if they like it or not, get them involved in the preparation. Bring them to the grocery store and teach them how to pick the best one. Then when you get home, have them help you wash it and prepare for eating.
Knives might be too dangerous for younger kids, so just have them watch while you’re chopping the fruit or vegetable. Ask for their input about how they want it cut. And if you need to store extra servings, they can help put the containers in the fridge.
Kids are very impressionable at a young age, so it’s essential to start them with healthy eating habits early in their lives. If they end up not liking something, that’s ok. Do not scold or punish them, and simply try again later. Try not to “reward” them too much; you want them to try the food and enjoy it on their own instead of just waiting for the reward.
With patience and creativity, your young one is sure to keep healthy habits throughout their life.