Trying to get more veggies into your children’s diet can be a challenge. One of the most frequent comments I get from other parents is that their kids simply don’t want to eat them. So, I’ve used my knowledge as a parent and dietitian to come up with some tips to help get your little ones to eat those veggies.
1. Give them fun veggie facts
One great way to convince kids to try more veggies is to teach them fun health facts about what they’re eating. If they know that veggies have super-food powers, they’ll be more motivated to eat them. For example, peppers are loaded with Vitamin C, which may act like a suit of armor to help protect against colds!
2. Plan ahead
When kids come home from school or take a break from playtime, they’re usually hungry. Often, kids will grab convenient snacks with empty calories. However, I find that if you have cut up veggies out and ready before they have a chance to raid the kitchen cabinets, hungry kids will flock to them. Try pairing veggies with a zesty salad dressing dip, flavored hummus, or salsa. Short on time? Buy them pre-cut instead.
3. Add them to Sandwiches
Sandwiches are already a kid-favorite food. Adding veggies like sliced cucumbers, lettuce, or shredded carrots is a great way to pack on the nutrients and fiber while convincing wary kids that veggies are actually delicious!
4. Always offer veggies at dinner
Introduce Meatless Monday at home or experiment with different preparation methods. You may find that your child prefers crispy oven-baked or sautéed veggies over raw or steamed.
Of course, you don’t want to make dinner time a vegetable war zone. Starting with small, manageable portions (or even a bite size) of a new vegetable helps them to grow a tolerance. Or, you can try mixing in a small amount of veggies with a familiar-favorite, like broccoli to mac and cheese. It may take dozens of times for a child to like a new food, so don’t give up. It took about two years for my daughter to like salad, but now she loves it!
5. You need to eat your veggies too!
Kids learn from their parent’s behaviors. If you don’t make it a priority to eat a balanced diet yourself, they won’t either. So, eat healthy together as a family!
We understand it can be daunting for parents on-the-go, which is why Subway® created the Fresh Fit For Kids® menu*. Not only can you both pile those veggies on subs, but you can always opt for all-veggie options like the Veggie Delite or order a salad. Plus, the whole grain certified bread, low-fat milk, and Honest Kids® Fruit Punches make Fresh Fit For Kids® meals an excellent solution for parents looking to give their kids a well-balanced meal.
Want to hear more from Lanette? Read her expert advice on how to make simple food swaps for better nutrition.
* Subway Fresh Fit For Kids® meals are prepared in front of you and are not a diet program.
Top Image Credit: Subway