Skip to main content

Stealthy Healthy Eating: Persuading Your Kids To Try Vegetables


Any parent will be familiar with the following conversation, usually held in hushed voices with a fellow parent:

"I love him, I do. It's just... he will not eat what's good for him! I don't know what's wrong!"

"Oh, I know. Mine are all like that. I've tried everything, but they're so stubborn..."


Before you have children you look at other people's, see what they are eating and are mystified. "That can't be good for them!", you mutter to yourself as you see the child eating chips, or peanut butter and jelly. So why are they being given it?

As any harassed parent will tell you, it comes down to one simple fact. While what your kids eat is important, it's not as important as their need to eat something. You might want everything to be nutrient-rich and healthy. But sometimes your kids will disagree.

Before you get too frustrated with them, take yourself back to when you were their age. Did you eat broccoli, carrots or bean sprouts without protest? Really? It's a fact; kids tend to be picky eaters.

So what's the deal? Do you abandon the well-meaning plans to feed them healthy food? Accept that it's a life of burgers and nuggets or nothing? No - keep the healthy eating flag flying. You may just need to get creative.

Hide The Veg, Trick Your Child

Many parents will be horrified by the idea of conning their kids into eating right. "What kind of a lesson does it give if I'm using subterfuge to keep my son healthy?" you may ask. Well, that's just it - no lesson at all, if you do it right. They won't know.

Using the right knives, from sources like Cut it Fine or others, chop the veg up real small. Use it in their favorite sauces, and invent a name for it. After they've been eating it for long enough, you may admit to them that the meal has a "secret ingredient." Without realizing it, they've found they quite like courgette, onion or similar foods.

Presentation Is The Key

One of the reasons the above trick often works is because kids are very visual. If they recognize a food as something they like, they trust it and go with it. If they feel the opposite way, they will rebel. This is why it can be a good idea to play with how you present veggies, and which veggies you pick.


Peppers look exciting and colorful - and if you stuff them with spaghetti sauce and some meatballs, they can be delicious too. Once your kid likes one healthy meal, they'll be more open to trying others.

Have Fun With Mealtimes

As you gain your kids' trust as someone who knows their way around the kitchen, you can have more themed days. Get them to be excited about trying new things by having a day set aside where you'll make something different. Another night can be "breakfast for dinner" night. As they get used to this kind of routine, you'll find it easier to establish the right way of eating.



At the bottom of all this, it is important to remember that truth. The fact that your kid eats is more important than what they eat - but if you can make them see the good in healthy food earlier, it's a gift for life.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good tips! :) I think it is largely also about habit building overall...giving your kids a very large variety of healthy foods from a very young age with a very small percentage of processed foods. Definitely never hurts to hide some veggies in their food though! ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Polar FA20 Activity Watch Review and Giveaway

Hi Neighbors, Well, I am out of the hospital, but I am not allowed to be very active yet, so I asked my daughter to test out this new item. It is an Activity Watch. What a great item for Get Out Get Active! The Polar FA20 counts your daily physical activity. First you need to set the basic information. The date, units (metric or imperial), your weight, height, birth date, and male or female. Place the FA20 on your wrist to measure your physical activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This watch monitors your activity and gives you feedback about how you are doing. Everyone should be physically active at least 30 minutes each day, and the FA20 helps you achieve this. Throughout your day you can check and see if you are having a Lazy Day (active less than 30 minutes), Easy Day (active 30 to 60 minutes), Active Day (active 60 to 75 minutes) or an Intensive Day (active more than 75 minutes). You can also record your training sessions to learn more about how your body respon

Prilosec OTC $25 Rebate plus a $100 AMEX Giveaway

Hey Neighbors! Do you suffer from heartburn? I do sometimes. I personally can not eat really spicy foods. Problem? I LOVE MEXICAN! So does my whole family. My husband enjoys really spicy foods and sometimes suffers from it. Solution? Have you heard about Prilosec OTC? If not perhaps you would like to try it. Prilosec OTC has a special offer going on right now through February 15th. Buy 2 Prilosec OTC and get $25 back. Now, I personally have not tried Prilosec OTC yet. But according to the site: "How and Why Prilosec OTC® Works Prilosec OTC Blocks Heartburn When you eat, millions of tiny pumps in your stomach lining create acid to break down food. Normally your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) works as a door, opening and closing to let food pass from your esophagus HEARTBURN GLOSSARY Esophagus: Tube connecting the mouth to the stomach; a passageway for food; part of the digestive

Omron Heart Rate Monitor Review and Giveaway

Hey Neighbors, Another great product for the Get Out and Get Active! An Omron Heart Rate Monitor ($59.99)! Once again due to my disc problem my daughter was the one to try this out. This is seriously not fair! Anyway, one of the great things about a heart rate monitor is that you can make sure you are exercising in your zone. You can monitor your heart rate and then adjust your pace for either a slower workout or a more intensive workout. This monitor comes witha high and low alert so you can make sure you stay right where you are supposed to. Not overdoing it, yet not taking it too easy! You can wear the wrist receiver on your wrist, or you can mount it on your bike or treadmill so it is easy for you to read. This Omron Heart Rate Monitor comes with: 1-Wrist Receiver Watch 1-Transmitter 1-Transmitter Strap (Chest size 29" to 55") 1-Receiver Mounting Bracket 1-Storage Case 2-"Lithium" Batteries (installed) 1-Instruction Manual (Above nice carry cas