As parents, we have our fair share of difficult tasks – from getting our children to brush their teeth to getting them to go to sleep at bedtime to having them do their homework before playtime.
But, I think one of the most difficult things to do as a parent occurs when it comes to mealtime…
Trying to get our children to eat vegetables.
Some kids love them, but unfortunately, most kids hate them. And, at mealtime, a picky child can be quite a task to conquer. Between the fussing and the refusal, I have easily given in my fair share of times and thrown my hands up – figuratively – when it came to getting my kids to eat vegetables.
But, thankfully, I finally discovered that if you just get a bit creative with it, sometimes you can convince them to give in – so, there are sometimes when you win!
Here are a few fun ways I found worked when trying to get my kids to eat carrots:
1. Make the setting fun.
When kids see vegetables on a boring plate, they just get bored. They already don’t want to eat the vegetables, but if it isn’t fun then they really aren’t interested… But, that is where Dylbug plates come in! By incorporating a fun and personalized plate you can almost turn eating into a game for your child. I always like to tell my children there is a pretty picture underneath just waiting to be uncovered. If you really want to make it fun, give them the carrots and have them place them on the plate along the drawing then encourage them to eat them to get the picture back.
2. Make it look like dessert.
Aside from making it look fun, another great way to get your kids to eat carrots is to disguise them. My kids love mini carrot cheesecakes and they have no idea it isn’t just a sweet treat! Of course, this isn’t the healthiest form of carrots because they aren’t in their raw state, but if you really have a picky eater on your hands, this is far better than nothing.
3. Create fun shapes.
Kids are just naturally attracted to things that look cute – for example, dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. While carrots aren’t very malleable, you can combine them with other vegetables to make something. For example, I use a carrot stick as the tree trunk and add a piece of broccoli to the top for a treetop – then, we have a vegetable forest!
4. Make them your sous chef.
I know, bringing kids in the kitchen can be scary – all you can think about is the huge mess that awaits you. But, sometimes it might be your best option for getting them to eat vegetables. I have learned that if I have my kids help me cook the carrots, they are more likely to eat them because they want to try what they have made. Then, they feel like they are choosing to eat them rather than being made to eat them.
5. Feed them to everyone.
Of course, you should be eating your carrots right along with the kids, but what about their favorite dolls? We try to avoid bringing toys to the table, but every now and then we will have a special occasion. My kids and I like to do a veggie tea party where we all – dolls included – have our veggies for the day. When you show them that their dolls are eating their veggies too, they don’t want to be
6. Make it a game.
Especially when they don’t want to eat them, counting down how many they have left seems to help. It can help to make a game out of it – for example, I will give my kids a few different vegetables all mixed together and they have to separate them into groups by color and then count them down as they eat them.
7. Reward their success.
Last but not least, a little bribery never hurts.
I actually keep vegetable themed stickers around the house and they get to add one to our “healthy eating” chart each time they finish their vegetables. Then, it gives them an incentive to finish their plate. I know as a parent sometimes it can seem like an impossible task to get your children to eat vegetables… But, try and try again – you will get there and hopefully, these fun tips will help you.
By Annabelle Short, writer for Wunderlabel