Every parent wants to encourage their child to eat healthy foods, but sometimes, picky eaters can be unbelievably stubborn. If your child refuses to touch anything green, here are some techniques you can use to increase their veggie consumption without causing a tantrum.
Lead by Example
According to the CDC in 2017, only 9 percent of adults actually consume enough vegetables. How can you expect your children to eat their peas and carrots if you barely eat yours? Start incorporating more veggies and fruits into your daily meals so that your child learns from a good role model. After all, you should be eating cancer-fighting foods like broccoli, too. This is your chance to boost the whole family's health.
Make the Veggies Interesting
A bland motley of steamed veggies hardly appeals to a toddler's sense of excitement. Ask yourself how you can make the vegetables more enticing. Tell your dino-obsessed kid that broccolis are trees and he's a reptilian herbivore. Challenge them to mimic Bugs Bunny when he eats carrots or put cheese on their Brussels sprouts. TV shows and books tell kids they're supposed to dislike vegetables, so you need to convince them otherwise.
Cook Vegetables Into Dishes
Healthy ingredients are more difficult to pick out when they're thoroughly incorporated into a recipe. Try tempting your picky eater with a broccoli cheese rice casserole or a homemade spinach lasagna. If you really want to be sneaky, puree the vegetables into a sauce so that your little one won't even notice them.
Use Vegetables in Your Baking
Veggie desserts hardly sound appealing, even to adults. However, you'd be surprised to learn that you can make a variety of your favorite treats with vegetable ingredients. For instance, this chocolate zucchini cake is delicious. You can also experiment with real carrot cupcakes, chocolate spinach muffins, and healthy avocado brownies.
Give Them Dips to Eat With the Veggies
Most kids can't say no to something slathered in ranch dressing or salsa. See if you can get your kids to embrace hummus and other healthy dips, then serve it with a tray of fresh veggies. In desperate times, you can even resort to smothering vegetables in yummy cheese.
How do you get your picky eaters to eat their veggies? Leave other suggestions in the comments below!