4 Ingenious Ways To Help Your Kid Love Vegetables
STORY: Low Soon Koon
01 October 2022
There’s yelling and crying at the dining table again. This scenario doesn’t come as a surprise to most parents every time vegetables are served to their kids. If the hard approach doesn’t help, and sneaking colourful veggies in their meals is also backfiring, here’s our advice: be subtle. Sneaky, even.
This four-step approach will require patience, creativity, and lots of experimenting on your end. But for the sake of your kids’ nutritional health, it’ll be well worth the effort.
1. Show and tell
Kids would always hear adults say, “Please eat your vegetables. Now.” But how often do they see us eating our greens?
Make eating veggies a habit at your dining table and lead by example. If your kids see you eating vegetables with disgust, they would get the impression that all veggies taste awful. And if they see you force down a spoonful of beans, they might think that all vegetables are boring to eat.
What if I’m not a veggie lover? Well, some parents advise ‘faking it till you make it’ if you must. After all, that’s the whole point: for your kids to give vegetables a try.
2. ‘Hire’ them as your personal sous chef!
After you walk the talk, now it’s time to invite your child into his or her veggie journey.
Start by exposing them to vegetables found in the market or in the groceries. Yes, that means you should have them tag along on your grocery runs. Allow them to touch and feel their texture; let them feast their eyes on its shapes and colours. When you’re back in the kitchen, you might even want to let them have a hand in preparing dinner, because this study here has proven that cooking one’s own meal makes it more delicious.
3. Little by little
Gradual is the word. Instead of putting a plateful of broccoli on your child’s plate, portion it down into a piece or two. Or, add a slice of bell paper to their lunch to train them into eating (and eventually) liking vegetables. You can also let your creativity run wild here and mould your veggies into different shapes like stars, hearts, or circles. It’s going to take a little more time than usual to prepare your veg dishes, but it’ll be worth the effort when you see them tucking in without excessive complaints.
What if my child loses motivation to eat vegetables daily? Try putting up a progress chart; once he/she hits the daily or weekly veggies target, reward him accordingly. Hang it near your dining area.
4. Inject creative juices
This isn’t the most sustainable way to get your kids on the veggies bandwagon, but it should help for a start: throw in vegetables along with fruits into the cold presser.
Juicing is a great way to mask the perceived unsavoury taste of vegetables, if not a much easier way for children to consume their greens. You could start with options such as broccoli, asparagus and carrots, then finish off by serving it in colourful cups and straws.
Nutritionists would advise two juices per day to ensure your kids get proper nutrient intake and ultimately, develop their liking for vegetables.
Bonus tip: You know the saying, out of sight, out of mind? That’s why we say, keep the veggies visible around the house! Fill in transparent containers with cut-up veggies and leave them within your child’s reach.