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Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can be a struggle for some parents, but, thankfully, there is some parenting advice available for this particular dilemma.
Vegetables contain minerals, minerals make enzymes, and enzymes are needed for the proper digestion of food. If food cannot be digested, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and used by the body.
If your child is a picky eater and won’t eat vegetables, they will lack the nutrients their bodies need to fight illness, learn properly, feel calm, treat others with kindness and fulfil their purpose here on Earth.
Many years ago, a man who knew I was a nutritionist told me he had recently set up an appointment for his son to see the doctor because his son wouldn’t eat vegetables.
I explained that there is only ever one reason that children won’t eat vegetables — they have not been around others eating vegetables.
Among the many important parenting skills, you need to learn, being an example to your child is one of them.
No other relationship sets the tone for the life experience of each individual more powerfully than the relationship between parent and child. If a parent sets the example of regularly eating vegetables, so will their child.
Now, if a parent makes a lot of fanfare about eating those vegetables or talks incessantly about the importance of doing so, this could backfire!
Most children don’t have a lot of control in their lives. If they know their parent really wants them to eat vegetables, a child who is not given a lot of choices might refuse to comply, simply as a way to exert control!
So, if you want to entice your kids to eat their vegetables, here are 10 effective, but fun ways to do so.
1. Greet them with vegetables when they come home
As soon as your child walks in the door, have a vegetable platter on the table in the first room they enter when they come home from school. This is often when they are the hungriest!
In the platter, include red, yellow and orange peppers, raw sweet potato (yes!), green beans, snow peas, and heirloom (orange, purple and white) carrots.
2. Provide unique and tasty dips to go with the vegetables you serve
You can use Earth Island Vegan Ranch or Caesar salad dressing, almond butter, sun butter, or melted Earth Island cheese (which contains no dairy).
3. Have a surprise picnic in your family room or bedroom floor
Seriously! Your child will likely be so excited, they will eat almost anything you serve them.
4. Take them vegetable-picking
Plant or visit a garden this summer and have your child pick and eat the produce from it.
5. Let them choose
Take your child to the grocery store with you and have them choose the vegetables to take home with you and eat.
6. Involve your child in cooking
When planning meals for kids, help them learn how to cook vegetables, especially the ones they helped pick out from the garden or chose at the store.
Give them their own apron or chef hat and play their favourite music in the kitchen while you prepare your feast!
7. Blend it up
Have your child choose a recipe book or an online recipe with pictures of smoothies and help them follow the simple steps to making one delicious concoction after another.
Just having one fruit in a blender filled with vegetables will sweeten things up!
8. Let them have a taste
Have your child sample green drinks at the health store or purchase sample packets to bring home.
9. Let them make their own salad
Place different vegetables, nuts, and seeds on shells or in beautiful small containers on your dinner table for them to choose from.
10. Don’t forget the sea vegetables
Put a piece of nori in your pasta or rice while you are boiling the water. They will absorb all the nutrients from the sea vegetables. Then, discard the Nori before serving the pasta or rice.
I assure you, they will not taste like seaweed!
Many children are picky eaters. But, there are many ways to get them to eat vegetables more often. And interestingly enough, following these ideas will make your life as a family more exciting!
More importantly, the healthier your children are, the easier things will become as you’re learning how to be a good parent and do a magnificent job at raising them.
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