5 smart ways to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies

As a parent, you might find yourself fighting with your children to eat more healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, but how do you make it happen? Here are a few easy tips to get your kids to warm up to healthier foods.

5 smart ways to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies

1. Limit access to junk food

If healthy food options are already part of your life, your kids are less likely to be put off by meals featuring fruits and vegetables. What's more, as a parent you have the ultimate say as to what appears on the kitchen pantry shelves.

  • Making  an effort to limit processed foods and stocking up on healthy, whole-food snacks—such as carrot sticks, raisins, bananas, apples and broccoli—will help your kids start to make these healthy snacks their go-to choices.

2. Let them know they have to eat what they're served

You’re already busy, so when you make a meal for your family, why feel the pressure to create a second, kid-approved version?

  • Whatever you make for dinner, serve it to adults and kids alike. You’ll establish the expectation the food you've prepared is for everyone and there’s no way around it.
  • Doing this will not only help you at home,  but also out in the real world. Whenever your child encounters new foods in a restaurant or at a friend's place, he or she will be used to eating whatever is served and won't expect a kid-only option.

3. Don’t assume they won’t like something

If you go into a situation making excuses for the food you serve, your kids are going to be pre-wired to think fruits and vegetables are to be avoided at all costs. Instead of begging your child to try "just one bite" of the healthy dish, try speaking more positively. Suggest that everyone have some of the carrot dish on their plate, or serve a plate to them that includes the healthy food.

4. Remember to have fun

Fruits and vegetables have one really obvious and awesome thing going for them: they’re colourful! Play up the colour aspect of eating by serving an all-orange or all-red meal, for example, or creating a rainbow-hued plate to serve. Even better:

  • Let your kids help prepare the meal. Not only will they learn their colours, but if they are involved in making the meals, they'll likely also be more interested in eating them. And what kid wouldn't feel proud about serving something he or she made!

5. Don't give up

If your child doesn’t like a fruit or vegetable the first time it’s served, don’t jump ship. Offer the food again—and again—and again.

  • Just because your child doesn't like something the first time, doesn't mean he will never like it. Moreover, just because they like something once doesn't mean they will like it forever.
  • Keep introducing new and healthy foods to keep your child interested, and soon your persistence will pay off.

Keep your head up

Despite all of your hard work, remember that you’re not always going to win. Children won't always eat the healthy food you’ve prepared, and that’s okay. Similarly, don't forget that most grown-ups don't like everything they eat. So shop well, be consistent and stay positive. You’ll eventually make good headway in getting your kids to eat healthier foods.

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