Raise Children Who Eat Their Vegetables

Yes! It IS possible to raise children who like to eat a wide variety of vegetables.  Follow these fun tips to develop your healthy eater and remember to always talk about vegetables in a fun and inviting way to encourage even more positivity!

Enjoy a variety of vegetables yourself.  The most important thing that adults can do for children’s eating is to model healthy habits. If you enjoy eating a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, children will see that as the normal thing to do.  If YOU eat vegetables, so will your children.

Start a discussion about growing a vegetable garden. Now is great time to talk about starting a family garden. As we all know, the taste of freshly‐picked vegetables cannot be beat.  Get your family excited while eating dinner this evening about growing a garden. Discuss the vegetables your family would want to include in their family garden. Plan ahead for a mid-May planting party! Not enough space for a garden? Remember there is more than one way to grow your own fresh vegetables.  You could use a container on the porch or visit a local community garden.

Cut up vegetables for meals and snacks. Serve a small plate ofbite‐sized vegetables at every meal.  Try broccoli trees, baby carrots, celery sticks, cucumber slices, sweet pepper pieces or sugar snap pea pods.  If desired, add some low‐fat Ranch dip or hummus.  Kids will naturally get into a crunchy, healthy habit.

Serve bright, colorful vegetables. Everyone eats with their eyes first.  Children (and adults) will find bright and colorful vegetables more appealing.  Overcooked, mushy vegetables are likely to turn everyone off.  Keep vegetables brightly colored and crunchy in texture when cooking them by slightly steaming or microwaving them for just a few minutes. Consider roasting your veggies too!

Be adventurous with vegetables. When children see vegetables as tasty and fun, they are much more likely to enjoy eating them.  Buy new items and try new recipes.  These are some easy ways to make nutrition fun for children. Need ideas for making vegetables more adventurous in your kitchen?  Visit https://fruitsandveggies.org/ for fruit and veggie information and recipes.

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