Tuesday

Healthy Variety

OPINION
How do you get reluctant kids to eat a variety of foods especially fruits and veggies? - Anonymous

14 comments:

CanadaNanny said...

Keep offering it to them! Also, you can hide various fruits and veggies in other foods. I don't recommend hiding fruits and veggies on its own because then kids never get the chance to learn to love fruits and veggies, but it is a good chance to get some extra nutrition into them! I put sliced tomato and zucchini in grilled cheese sandwiches, corn in egg salad, add any blended veggie to spaghetti sauce, add half a can of blended chick peas to kraft dinner (can hardly taste the difference!), add fruit to pancakes, cookies etc. Also you could try to make eating fruits and veggies fun. Pretend to be dinosaurs munching on trees while eating broccoli, have the kids help you prepare fruit kabobs, arrange the fruits and/or veggies into a funny face or a bunny or a car etc. Hope this helps! Good luck :)

NannyAbroad said...

CanadaNanny gave great advice.
I would add to include the kids when you prepare the meal. Kids love to eat what they cooked them self .
Plus be a role model. When they see you eating fries and pizza, it will be difficult for them to understand why they should eat veggies when the adults don't live by their own rules.
I enjoy to shop, prepare, cook and eat together with my charges and so do they.

Bethany said...

I did a fruit and veggie rainbow once.

I got those little colorful toddler snack dishes and put fruits and veggies in each dish that matched.

The red dish got beets, tomatos and strawberries, the green had green beans avocado& brocolli, orange had carrots and peaches.

If you do the shopping the kids can help pick which colors they are going to be the fruits & veggies.
It's a fun way to introduce new foods too;
The kids I cared for really got into it. They would even compete to see who could eat the most colors in a day.

Keep trying.

RBTC said...

i don't know if you could do this cause you are not the parent, but i saw a dad once in a restaurant getting his daughter to try something new

he and the young lady evidently over a period of time had come to an agreement that from time to time she would simply TRY the new food, a tiny little bit, she did not have to finish it

his part of the agreement is it would never be anything spicy

so - it took some time and a gentle patient conversation but the young lady eventually tried a small amount of the new food

she did not like it - blah - but her dad praised her because she tried it

Kat said...

We always make them try it, they may not like it but at least they've tried it. One thing I did, was pick veggies and fruits they DO like and just slowly incorporate new ones along side. Such as; Today we're having peas cause you love them, but we have this yummy broccoli too and look! It looks like mini trees!

Lyn said...

This sounds weird but I swear it works. Get an ice cube tray and cut up fruits, and veggies and arrange them in each of the little cups in rainbow colors, The darkest (black olives) on one side to the lightest (pineapple) on the opposite end. Throw in some crackers, and cheese in a couple of the "cups" so the kids have things to build on. It's a lot of fun, quick and easy and kids love talking about the colors.

Lyn said...

Also, cute cookie cutters do wonders! I bought a car one and a flower one and cute through slices of cucumber with them and serve with hummus. Kids are visual eatters in my experience. A little creativity and fun go a long way. You could also read "the hungry caterpillar" to them when they eat the ice cube meal in my above post!

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

How about cutting them into fun shapes? Perhaps animal shapes or ??

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

I agree with the above posters, you just have to keep offering it to them because you never know when they will just start eating it. I hate wasting food, but I think it's important for them to be offered (now, they don't get off scot-free, if they don't eat the vegi that is served they need to eat twice the amount of baby carrots/ tomatoes than they are old (4 years=8 carrots). Once they get to be a certain age (6 or so) they realized they are better off eating what was put in front of them) :) .

I would set up a "fruit and veggie bar" at the kitchen table with all sorts of f/v cut into shapes. I would then give them toothpicks and let them build things (a house, people, etc). They LOVED eating their creation as much as they loved building it.

I also used to cut their sandwiches into different shapes and then use the f/v and sides to build the rest of the scene. My monsters thought it was funny when I would mock sadness as they ate my creation and before they knew it, they had eaten everything on their plate!

I also "hide" vegetables in EVERYTHING. Any sort of soup/ sauce/ gravy gets a large helping of pureed vegis dumped in (that's not just for the kids-- it's for the hubby, too!). I add peas or carrots to my mac and cheese (or basically any pasta dish) and my kids never complained. Hubby on the other hand, well, he's still a work in progress. :)

Try everything said...

Just read a funny book called, "French Kids Eat Everything," there is a lot of belief in introducing a variety of foods very early on. They even have a name for that time when young toddlers stop being adventurous eaters and like more plain foods. Not exactly easy to take to heart here, but local, fresh, simple veggies from the farmers market are a fun place to start. The best advice is to keep offering new foods and foods that have not been liked before, and encourage children to try everything on their plate is great too!

darn picky kids said...

My own son hates veggies and has weird texture issues with certain foods. I oftentimes seat him at the table first and give him his veggies before the rest of the family sits down. It gives him a chance to eat his veggies before he gets his main meal. It's what works if he's hungry. He often chooses not to eat at all if I make him eat his veggies first.

I wouldn't recommend withholding meals from a charge though.

Rose said...

I usually eat withe my kiddos. So We play magician. Our vegetables are the magic tricks. They go into our mouths and it is magic when We open our mouth and wella no food. Sometimes i look amazed. .say where did it go? I look in all sorts if funny places, their ears, up their sleeves, etc. I often rename vegetables, carrots are logs, cucumber rounds are tractor wheels, celery cut cross ways are smiles, lentils can be called dirt, rocks, gravel...lol . Peas can be counted, i say count five peas but whatever you do dont eat them. Then of course they eat them. I pretend not to notice then am shocked when i count them and there are not five peas. So we recount them add enough to make five...then of course they eat some and the game starts again..I also make up or simply sing food songs that are silly and they will eatwhile i sing. (:

Rose said...

I usually eat withe my kiddos. So We play magician. Our vegetables are the magic tricks. They go into our mouths and it is magic when We open our mouth and wella no food. Sometimes i look amazed. .say where did it go? I look in all sorts if funny places, their ears, up their sleeves, etc. I often rename vegetables, carrots are logs, cucumber rounds are tractor wheels, celery cut cross ways are smiles, lentils can be called dirt, rocks, gravel...lol . Peas can be counted, i say count five peas but whatever you do dont eat them. Then of course they eat them. I pretend not to notice then am shocked when i count them and there are not five peas. So we recount them add enough to make five...then of course they eat some and the game starts again..I also make up or simply sing food songs that are silly and they will eatwhile i sing. (:

Lyn said...

Rose those are all AWESOME ideas!!! Are you new here? I haven't seen you around..... wow that makes it sound like I'm hitting on you haha!