You’re trying your best to feed your kids healthy foods—including natural vegetables straight from the farm—but they wrinkle their nose at the fresh veggies you put on their plates. It’s every mother’s nightmare. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. Here’s a list of practical tips to try, endorsed by a real mom who raised a girl (me) who will today eat about any vegetable in sight.
- Make it fun. Try creating some type of artwork with the vegetables. A simple vegetable smiley-face* on a plate can make a child excited for lunch. Or, consider making snowmen out of tomatoes and a toothpick, cut stars out of your kohlrabi, or craft your celery and cucumbers into cute bugs (instructions here). My mom used this technique all the time with my youngest sister when she a toddler and it really helped. *Use two cucumbers for the eyes, a carrot for the nose, and a pepper slice for the mouth–practical yet creative.
- Offer the child choices and attainable goals. For example, tell your kids they need to eat a total of four or five vegetable pieces, but offer them a choice between several different kinds. It gives the child a sense of independence and the option to choose vegetables that they like better. This way they can do what they want, within your parameters. If your little ones are in a good mood, they might even surprise you and eat one more carrot than your required amount just to see your surprised smile!
- Provide yummy dips. Ranch dressing, vegetable dip, peanut butter, and hummus all help mask the taste of the vegetable and make them go down easier. To make healthier dip that is preservative-free, try making your own dip with sour cream, dill, onion and garlic salt. Or consider whipping up a batch of our favorite hummus recipe.
- And finally–set a good example. Kids mimic what they see, so be a good role model and eat your vegetables in front of them.
Try out these suggestions with your fresh Freedom produce and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you!
Do you have any favorite ways you encourage your children to eat their veggies? Share with us below!