Updated: Feb 1
One of my girlfriends asked me this last week, as she struggles on this issue with her son. Honestly, it wasn't something I had put a ton of thought into before that. My 4 year old will eat most things that are put in front of her, and is actually the least picky eater out of our family. But how did that happen?
Model Healthy Behavior.
Well, my friends, kids are like little sponges soaking up the world around them. They see you do something, so they do it too. Ever since she was tiny, we have had fruit with breakfast, and a vegetable with dinner. Lunch at our house tends to be more spontaneous than planned, so sometimes we have one or the other, or we eat on the go. My point being, your kids will eat most of the things that you eat, and think it's normal.
There is River, happy as a clam, eating a bowl full of fruit this morning. She is a big fan of berries; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. We also usually go through bananas, clementine's, and apples by the bagful on a weekly basis.
With dinner, we alternate between fresh, frozen and canned veggies. Usually we have several on hand, so I will let the kids choose the vegetable with dinner. Giving them some sort of autonomy over that leads to better eating when it comes to their veggies. And it's not like I am giving them a choice between green beans and candy (candy is only for after dinner!), I don't really care if they choose broccoli or carrots. Both will get eaten eventually anyway.
Serving a wide selection of vegetables allows them to try different things, and find something that they like. Recently, my toddler picked out eggplant at the supermarket, which we had never eaten before. She gobbled it up at dinner and asked for more!
Maybe I am lucky that both of my kiddo's will eat their vegetables, but they always have. It's just a normal part of the day for them. I have always had healthy eating as a priority, but I don't make it into a battle. If they only eat a few bites of dinner one night, I don't make them sit there until the plate is clean like my parents did. I just leave the plate out until bedtime, and if my little one complains about being hungry, I direct her back to the plate. Sometimes we do have to warm it back up in the microwave, but that's a price I am willing to pay to see the food get eaten!
Just remember mama's, kids habits start with what they see you do!
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Let me know in the comments what you think, and any other tips that you have for getting your kids to eat vegetables. Are there recipes that they love, or do they like to eat fresh veggies?