How to make vegetables a lot less boring
Vegetables, are indispensable in any diet
A healthy diet must be varied and contain all the nutrients that the human body needs to function efficiently. Food awareness and eating habits start from childhood, so it is a good idea for parents to teach their children the basic rules right from when they are small, making sure they eat healthy, nutritious foods.
Vegetables not only contain vitamins and minerals, and have a high water content, but are also filling low-calorie foods that help prevent obesity in children, which is a much-debated topic today.
Getting your children to eat vegetables may not be easy, but it is very important to teach them to eat different vegetables and that they are important in their diet.
How to get your kids to eat vegetables, and have fun
Getting your kids to help you cook may make your kids eager to taste and eat what they have helped you to prepare. Get them to do very simple things such as mixing, washing or serving vegetables all on their own, since this will very probably make them eager to taste what you have prepared together.
You can get your kids to help you shop, asking them to tell you what they like, in a colourful environment of fresh and healthy food. This will stimulate their creativity in the kitchen once they get home.
Doing away with the rule of “no playing at the table” may turn meal times into fun and unconsciously make your kids more open to eating those dreaded vegetables. Try playing a guessing game during mealtimes, asking your kids to guess the ingredients of soup or other dishes, or place a carrot dip at the centre of the table and encourage your children to nibble on that as they wait for lunch, give vegetables funny names, or associate certain dishes with superheroes or characters they know and love (Hulk is strong because he eats spinach!).
Get help from others
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to convince kids to try something new; this may happen when they have lunch or dinner a friend’s house, because when they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment without you, they may be more inclined to taste and eat what they are given for fear of feeling excluded because their friends are eating that particular food, or simply to please their hosts.
Don’t force your kids or give them huge portions
Don’t try to force your kids to eat vegetables or reward them with sweets or other treats if they do. This will certainly not make your child eat vegetables but will very probably have quite the opposite effect.
Another thing to avoid is overfilling their plate with food. If you want your kids to taste something new, an overflowing plate of food may discourage your child from tasting it at the thought of not being able to finish it; what you should do is put the food on the plate with other foods your child enjoys, getting him or her used to new flavours.
Parents should also be the first to set the example, so when you prepare vegetables for your children always prepare a portion for yourself as well, to show them that you also eat vegetables.
How to make vegetables more appealing to kids
Here are 3 simple colourful recipes that will appeal to your kids and get them to eat vegetables!
- Rainbow sandwich
- Sliced bread
- Vegetables of your choice (lettuce, carrots, tomatoes)
- Ham (optional)
- Cheese slices
Cut two slices of bread into shapes using sandwich or pasta stamps. Fill the sandwich with the above ingredients; more creative Moms might also like to decorate the sandwich with different coloured vegetables. Use your imagination!
- Ladybird bruschetta
- Cherry or date tomatoes
- De-stoned black olives
- Cream cheese (optional)
- Salmon (Optional)
Cut the bread into slices that are not too thick; spread the cream cheese on the bread and add a slice of salmon topped with a leaf of fresh lettuce to make the bed for the ladybird. Cut a tomato in half and place it on the lettuce; cut an olive in half and make the head of the ladybird. For mothers who like details, dip a toothpick in cream cheese and make the ladybird's eyes, then use tiny pieces of black olive to make the dots on the back of the ladybird. And there you are, your sandwich is ready!
- Bunny salad
- Fresh lettuce
- 2 peeled hard boiled eggs
- A carrot
- Vegetables of your choice
Make a lettuce bed on your child's plate, then place the two eggs at the centre. Slice a piece of carrot and cut it in half. Stick the two halves on the egg to make the bunny's ears and another tiny piece of carrot to make the nose. If you have sesame seeds, use them to make the bunny's eyes and to season the salad. Dice the carrot and other vegetables to add a touch to your salad and .... ENJOY YOUR MEAL!