Encouraging young children to eat their greens can be a challenging task. Elaine shares her thoughts on getting kids to eat vegetables.
Young children in Singapore do not eat vegetables readily. I am beginning to feel that it might be a cultural issue in among Asians. Because of the way we cook and present the greens, it does not look as attractive as the yummy deep fried chicken wings, meat patties or steak.
Eating healthily is nevertheless very important. We know the goodness of eating vegetables but always face the problem of getting our own children to understand that. My son used to dislike vegetables and his eyes are so sharp that he can pick out the tiniest piece that he can find on his plate.
Hence, I began exploring different ways to get him to eat his greens. Here are some tips that worked for me to get kids to eat vegetables:
- The bright, attractive colours of the vegetables turn unsightly when they are overcooked. DO NOT overcook the vegetables. If you do not cook it right, you might turn a nice piece of green vegetables into a yellowish dry-looking one. It does not look appetizing.
- Disguise the vegetables. Be CREATIVE with your dish. Grate them and add them to pasta sauces or even stuff them into his favorite chicken fillet. In this way, the vegetables can be devoured without your child realizing it!
- Make eating vegetables fun! Rather than forcing them and screaming at them to eat the vegetables, inject fun into the activity by introducing a game. You can use vegetables to create a smiley face on the plate. Use broccoli for hair, olive for eyes, corn kennels for other things within the plate.
- Reward them. Reward them with some activities that they like or some of their favorite snack if they eat vegetables for dinner.
- Eat lots of vegetables yourself. Your children look up to you as their role model. If you do not eat the greens, how can you expect him to eat them? Start by eating vegetables yourself. They will gradually be influenced.
- Be Patient. Be patient and try different methods to get them to eat the vegetables. Forcing or coercing your child to eat his greens make lead to prolonged rejection.
- Be Positive! Kids change very fast, sometimes even before we know it. The dislike for vegetables might be just a passing stage. The key is to keep encouraging them and do not give up!
Hope these tips can be of help to you getting kids to eat vegetables.