Both adults and children should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. We’ve all been told how important it is to eat a balanced diet, but when you become a parent, it can suddenly seem even more important to you.
You want your child to eat healthy foods. Yet, getting fruits and vegetables can be very difficult if a picky eater. You don’t want to give up on trying to convince your child to eat what is good for them. At the same time, you also don’t want to turn every single meal into an argument.
These tips will show you how to get your child to eat fruits and vegetables.
1. Be a good role model for your child
You will never convince your child to eat fruits and vegetables if you don’t eat any yourself. Your child sees you as a role model, so if you want them to eat healthy foods, you first have to set a good example for them. Try to have all your meals together, so your child can see you eating vegetables. Eat fruits as snacks instead of cookies or potato chips.
And when your child refuses to eat their veggies, don’t get angry at them, and don’t try to force them to eat. This will only make them associate mealtime with bad experiences.
2. Take your child to a farmers’ market or a local farm
Taking your child with you when you go grocery shopping is a great idea. Let them choose which fruits or vegetables they would like to eat. You could take things further and take them to a farmers’ market or visit a local farm so they can see where food comes from and how fruits and veggies grow.
If your child is interested, you could even help them start their small garden. Imagine how proud they would be to eat carrots they have grown themselves!
3. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your recipes
If you love cooking, be sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your recipes. This will be more interesting to your child than always serving them the same few meal options. Some kids prefer foods with a crunchier texture, so if this is the case, focus on serving them uncooked veggies.
If you don’t enjoy cooking or have time for it, you can easily find meal delivery services that offer meals prepared with fresh fruits or vegetables. Meels is an excellent meal delivery option for many parents.
4. Prepare fun recipes with your child
Preparing recipes with your child can be fun to get them interested in eating more fruits and vegetables. You could show different recipes to your child and ask them which ones they would like to try.
But you can also keep it simple: prepare a delicious smoothie with frozen fruits, make a colourful salad with fresh fruits or veggies, or add them to cereals, yogurt, or pancakes.
5. Buy less unhealthy snacks and more fruits and veggies
If you want your child to eat fruits and veggies as snacks, you should limit the number of cookies, potato chips, candy, and other unhealthy snacks you buy.
If there is no granola bar covered in chocolate to eat, your child might be more likely to eat an apple when they get hungry in between meals. For example, you could also add a banana or an orange to their lunch box instead of a cupcake.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should never allow your child to eat unhealthy snacks. Keep in mind that balance is vital, and once again, try to set a good example for them.
6. Prepare different dip options
Dipping can be a fun way for children to eat more fruits and vegetables. It can also be a way to add some flavour to foods they don’t like.
You could slice an apple and make your child dip each piece in peanut butter. Or prepare small plates of melted cheese, mayonnaise, hummus, salad dressing, or any condiment your child loves to eat to make it easier for them to start enjoying raw vegetables.
7. Sneak some fruits and vegetables into different recipes
If your child still refuses to taste fruits and vegetables, keep trying, and be patient. It could take a moment for them to agree to try something new finally. And when they find some fruits and veggies that they like, it should become easier to make them try some more.
In the meantime, you can be sneaky and puree some fruits and vegetables so that you can add them to soups, stews, cookies, and other recipes. Your child will never know, and it will help them eat a more balanced diet.