How to get your children to eat their vegetables
Children often announce random likes and dislikes which often don’t mean anything. Here’s some tips to get them to eat their vegetables.
1.Be a good role model for eating: If you want your children to eat vegetables then you need to eat them, AND be seen to eat them by your children AND be seen to like them. So eat green beans and say ‘These are so crunchy’
2.Eat as a family: Try to eat at the table with the family as often as you can. Eating with others can make eating seem more normal and less of an issue as the focus is less on the food and more on the conversation. Then eat vegetables with your meal and give them to your children then you can all eat them. It will start to seem normal.
3.Say the right things: What you say is almost as important as what you do so say the right things about food Eat healthy food and comment ‘this is lovely’, have a second helping saying ‘this is really lovely’ and stop when you are full saying ‘I am full now’. Don’t call healthy food ‘boring’ or even ‘so healthy’.
4.Be encouraging: You can encourage a child to eat more but don’t let this dominate a meal. The odd comment such as ‘try and eat a few more peas’ or ‘have a bit more of your tea or you’ll be hungry later on’ are fine. But pressure, blackmail, anger, upset and any kind of drama will make the child dig in their heels and you will have lost the battle. Pick your fights carefully.
5.Use mindless eating: Mindless eating is usually seen as a problem and many people mindlessly eat more because its there. But it can also be used to help children eat more healthy foods. So when your child is watching the TV or in the car give them a bowl of chopped up fruit, a box of grapes or a plate of carrot sticks and cucumber and they will eat it without thinking.
6.Use peer pressure: Children like to be like their friends, so use peer pressure. Invite friends round for tea and give them all the same food and the same amount to eat. Or try asking for your child to go to a friends for tea and tell the mum to feed your child whatever they are feeding theirs but not to make a fuss about it.
7.Persevere. Just because they don’t eat something once doesn’t mean they won’t the next time. So don’t give up. Cook vegetables. Give them vegetables and eat vegetables in front of them or get their friends to eat them. Eventually they will give in. Children just really want to be like everyone else.
Some children showing how it’s done!: