Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting the Little Ones to Eat More Veggies

Do you have trouble getting your little ones to eat more veggies? Of my 4 kids, I really only have 1 that we struggled with to eat her veggies and as the others were always so willing, eventually she came around as well. I can not promise these tips will work, but here are some of the things we have always done.

- Involve the child in selecting what veggies to serve. Do not just ask them what veggie they want, give them 2 or 3 choices and try to incorporate a "new" vegetable in the mix every once in a while. Continue to involve the child in selecting how to prepare the the veggie or in finding the recipe. I have always picked 1 or 2 ways that I may want to serve it and then given the child the final choice.

- Allow the child to help in growing their own veggies. If space is tight, find a veggie that grows well in a pot and let them help plant and care for the veggie. Also, when the time comes, let them help prepare the veggies for eating. Even toddlers can help in the washing process.

- Teach them to like veggies in their most natural states from an early age. Veggie recipes are nice to change things up, but teaching them to like veggies that are raw or lightly steamed and then served plain or with a dab of butter, helps to train their taste buds.

- Serve veggies as often as possible. I not only serve veggies plain as a side dish, I use several of the techniques that other moms use to "sneak" veggies to their kids. I add a few mashed turnips to our mashed potatoes, add shredded carrots to our meatloaf, and finely chop up broccoli to resemble herbs and add it to, well, just about anything. There are also some food companies that are beginning to blend veggies in with their foods as well. One is Horizon and their Little Blends line. They are combining yogurt with both fruit and veggies in one cup, a triple food pyramid whammy. With flavors such as Banana and Sweet Potato or Strawberry and Carrot, the kids are sure to enjoy them.

So how do you incorporate veggies into your kid's diets? If you blog about it, you can win a prize package from Twittermoms and Horizon. Check the details here.

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