If your kids are like most kids, as soon as they figure out what is in that little green jar of mashed peas, they begin to run for the hills whenever the word “vegetable” escapes your lips. Here are a couple of super easy tricks to sneak the v-food into their daily routine.
They really don’t know the difference so feed them vegetables and do it a lot! When vegetables become a part of your child’s lifestyle, you’ll have few troubles keeping them part of the menu down the road.
Make a platter of colorful veggies PRIOR to the meal with a yummy hummus or taziki dip in the center. Let your child just wander by and nibble. Notice which veggies are preferred and make the effort to prepare those more often. Make sure to offer variety. The key to this method is always placing the veggies within the child’s reach and when they are hungry. Don’t say a word. This is free-range grazing.
The above still works quite well. However, you can now employ a new strategy at mealtime. Serve the vegetables of the meal first, when the kids sit down to eat, and while you are still finishing the main course. Because they are hungry and there is nothing better to eat, they will be highly tempted to just eat the darn stuff instead of stare at it while waiting for their burger to arrive. Highly effective.
Find out which vegetables they prefer and make sure to have them on hand. They are still going to need to some encouragement as cookies taste so much better after school than peppers do. Just put out a veggie platter prior to their arrival home and it WILL get devoured. Here, you are using their tendencies toward laziness to your benefit. If they have been eating vegetables most of their lives, they will likely not need any encouragement to do so alongside meals. However, if you are in the midst of making dietary changes, use the veggie-first/main-meal-second method and that will work just as well.