Photo credit by marcusjroberts
Dinner time. Mom and Dad and two kids. Mom puts the dishes on the table – and the kids grunt: ‘Oh no, I don’t like sprouts!”
It happens all too often that children don’t want to eat vegetables. Like so much in education, much depends on how the parents will treat this issue. A good example really does the trick, and turning back the clock a few decades won’t hurt either. Make eating a moment to look out for. Have at least one meal as a whole family. Sitting around a big table with the parents, brothers and sisters, will make a toddler want to join in. I remember that, when I was an infant in my high chair, I sat at the table, spoon in hand, waiting for the food to be served – and there was nothing I did not like! The more variety that is served at such family meals, the better. Have children eat fish and seafood from the beginning. Tell them how nice those sprouts can be, have them taste them. And make sure you have them eat at least a little bit of everything.
Depending on the age of your child, he or she should have at least two servings of vegetables a day. Vegetables are a necessary ingredient of our nutrition. They help to prevent all kinds of diseases. They add fiber and well-needed vitamins to our diet.
If you have problems in getting your kid to eat these vegetables, it might help to be creative. There are different ways in which to present food and there are tricks that can be used to bring the food to the children’s mouths.
Children like to dip all the time. One of the first things a baby learns is to use its fingers and hands. So why not do this with vegetables either? Slice up carrots, celery, witlof, radish, etc, in nice little cubes or slices and give the kids a bowl of their favorite dressing. They’ll put the veggies in the dip sauce, and even kids who don’t like veggies will swallow them as long as they can dip them first.
Hiding vegetables might also help. When making pasta sauce, use not only tomatoes, but add peppers, carrots, onion. Add vegetables to your casseroles or soup. Put some extra’s in the cheese and macaroni. The kids won’t know they’re eating something healthy, or why mum has a huge smile on her face!
Use you kids’ creativity. Encourage them to help out while you are cooking. They’ll eat heaps of what they prepared themselves.
Try a variety of cooking methods. Some vegetables have an ‘ugly’ look to them when stewed or boiled – like witlof. We kids called it nose drippings when it was served stewed – but we ate it in raw form, with a bit of mayonnaise! Also try shredding vegetables, or adding another topping like cheese to make them more savory.
And lastly, never serve big portions to children. Let them ask for more!