How do you get your children to eat their three to five different vegetables everyday?
- Cut up red pepper slices, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, tomatoes or baby tomatoes and avocado. Add Swiss chard, coleslaw or grated beets. Add salad sauce separate for dipping.
- Now here is the ESSENTIAL step: give the kids their raw vegetables as their first course. They only get to eat the entrée if they eat the vegetables first.
- Hold yourself to the same standard. Either create the exact same plate of cut up vegetables and dip for yourself and eat them, or create a salad combining all of the vegetables and some added spinach or other dark leafy green.
- Add one cooked vegetable to the warm meal. Voila. You and your kids have eaten three to six different vegetables!
So what happens if they refuse to eat the vegetables? Should you cave and give them their lunch / dinner? No! Calmly tell them that is fine, but they will not get anything else to eat until the vegetables are gone. For this entire plan to work you have to take away all other snacks. They need to be hungry!!! Kids will eat cut up vegetables with dip if they are hungry. I promise.
Okay yeah, my son hates avocado, my daughter dislikes tomatoes and my youngest eats all vegetables up yelling: yummy! Kids are different. If there are three to six different cut up vegetables, it really doesn’t matter if there is one they hate.
Want to add in even more vegetables and fruit into your kids diet than this? Have cut up vegetables, berries and other fruit ready in the fridge for your kids to munch on while watching their few minutes of TV or while doing their homework. Hey, you will be more likely to munch on an apple before that cookie the next time you get hungry too, if it is cut up in the fridge.
Teach your kids it isn’t a matter of ‘instead of’, but, ‘we eat this first’. After my kids eat five different types of vegetables, I have no guilt about feeding them homemade pizza some nights. I mean, they got their dose of vitamins and minerals already, right?
If I am craving a treat, I always eat a carrot or apple first. Afterwards I nearly always eat the potato chips or chocolate too, but I end up eating far less of the unhealthy food. It’s that simple.
There are all these people making green smoothies and hiding vegetables in dishes so they and their family eat more of them. I say: make it simple people! Eat more plain vegetables: most raw and at least one cooked a day.
Wishing you vibrant health and wellbeing! Heather