Getting kids to eat vegetables is a task that no parent looks forward to. There are the rare few children that actually like them, but that’s pretty far and few in between. So what can we do as parents short of forcing vegetables down their throats?
Some parents hide veggies in parts of meals that the child is more prone to eat, such as mashed potatoes or pizza. The most common, stricter approach is refusing to let them leave the table until their plates are clear. That one is usually a losing battle for everyone. One method that has become particularly common and popular is bribing the kids with money. Some parents go as far as creating bank accounts to deposit the child’s bribery money in. The problem with these methods is they usually don’t last. Eventually they are stopped for whatever reason and the child goes back to not eating veggies. Also the child ends up expecting monetary compensation for everything they do.
So what can you do instead? First and foremost, start early. Vegetables also must be offered frequently and try not to pressure the child. Try really hard not to get discouraged by the inevitable “no” because there will probably be one, or two…or three. Parents can lose hope after offering the same vegetables between three and five times, but, in reality, toddlers in particular might need up to 15 exposures.
You also need to let your children experience the food with all of their senses. Don’t “hide” vegetables and don’t care if they hold them with their hands, squeeze them and mush them. Let them build a positive relationship with the food. Reward systems are great in some cases, but in the long run…this will pay off much better. Most importantly is DON’T GIVE UP – be consistent and it WILL pay off.
Read more at cnn.com