Get Your Kids To Eat More Veggies
Parents, we’ve all been there. Despite our best efforts to encourage healthy eating, we still struggle to ensure our kids are getting enough vegetables in their diet. Most parents understand the importance of providing a wide variety of vegetables for their kids to enjoy; however, getting them to actually eat those vegetables is typically easier said than done.
According to the CDC, 90% of children (ages 2-18 years) aren’t eating enough vegetables. In fact, only 2% of teens are getting their recommended servings of daily veggies.
So, what’s a parent to do? When it feels like you’ve tried everything and the temptation to give up is stronger than the desire to stick it out, give these mealtime hacks a try instead:
Lead By Example
That’s right. As parents, we can’t just talk the talk, we have to walk the walk, too. We can offer our kids nutritious meals and encourage them to eat more veggies all we want, but if our behavior doesn’t match what we’re asking of them, they will notice.
In fact, a recent study out of the University of Michigan proved that it’s less about mealtime conversation and verbal encouragement and more about exhibiting the desired mealtime behavior. So, do the work, and lead by example.
Get Them Involved
Involving kids in meal-time decisions can help give them a sense of control. Meal planning and grocery shopping are great activities to invite your kids to participate in. This is also a great way to discover which vegetables they like best and even encourage trying something new. When it comes to meal prep, letting them pick how they want their vegetables prepared (raw or cooked) is also a simple way to get them involved.
Another great idea is planting a small vegetable garden. When kids are involved in where their vegetables come from, they’re more likely to be open to trying them.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the getting kids to eat their veggies mostly comes down to repetition. This means that the more you expose your child to vegetables, the more likely they will eat them.
Be consistent. Offer at least a small serving of veggies at every meal. Even if they only take a few bites, that’s more than they would have eaten otherwise and they’ll be more likely to try again at their next meal.
It’s All About The Pairing
Let’s face it, if kids have the option of eating pizza or broccoli, they’re probably going to eat the pizza first. And once they fill up on their favorite foods, they won’t be hungry enough to eat their veggies.
Consider pairing the veggies with a less desirable main dish that the kids still enjoy but isn’t quite as popular. Get creative! veggies don’t just have to be a side to the main course. If pizza is the go-to dinner of choice, why not add some veggie toppings? Another great strategy is offering veggies before dinner is ready. When kids are hungry, they’ll eat more, even if that means eating foods they normally wouldn’t.
Ready to get your kids active and do something good for their health? Try a martial arts training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?
Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)
Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)
Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)
© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts
All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.