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Hand Out: Tips to help your kids to eat vegetables.

During our visit with the dietician this week we talked about how its been more difficult as of late to get Christian to eat his veggies.  She gave me a handout with suggestions to help.  I decided to type it in here to keep on hand and to share with others...

Tips to help your Kids to eat Vegetable (and develop good eating habits):

  • Kids love dip: serve raw vegetables at supper with a salad dressing
  • Offer a new vegetable with your child's favorite foods
  • Make a soup with lots of vebetables
  • Allow small amounts of margarine, ketchup, cherry sauce, gravy, etc for taste testing
  • Serve vegetables as a snack instead of during a meal, have them as a first course, save familiar foods for the second or main meal
  • Let kids help out with meal preparation
  • Eat meals at the kitche/dining room table, not in front of the TV
  • Don't use food as a reward (id Don't use  dessert as a bribe)
  • Offer 2 vegetable choices at a meal
  • Puree vegetables and add to spaghetti sauces, burgers, meatloaf, muffins, soup, etc.
  • Serve small portions - children can be intimidated by large amounts
  • Let kids pick out a vegetable at the grocery store
  • Introduce new foods one at a time
  • Try vegetables both raw and cooked, kids may like them prepared in a different way or in a recipe rather than plain
  • a child need to be exposed to a new food many times before they accept it or even taste it
  • Don't be a short order cook:  Don't provide a second choice if a child refuses what is prepared, a child will eat when hugry
  • Be a good role model: the Things you eat and the way you react towards new foods will be influential on how your child accepts new foods
  • When your child is trying a new food, make sure it is on your plate too!
How often to try new Vegetables:
  • A food has to be tried several times in order for the taste buds to recognize and become familiar with the tastes
    • A new food should be tasted at least 3 (and up to 20) times
    • Each time a small serving should be tried (eg 3 bites or 1-2 TBSP)
  •  Taste for a new food develops over time so continue to offer the new food and have it on the plate even if your child doesn't always eat it.
  • Taste buds are more sensitive when we are younger and become less sensitive as we get older, some tastes can seem very strong to young children so a smaller portion may be necessary to use or the food may be better accepted if prepared in a different way (eg cooked vs raw).

She also gave us a list of vegetables:

brussel sprouts
Bok choy
green beans
green pea
peppers (red, green, orange, yellow)
snow peas
sweet peas
sweet potato
wax beans
+ many more

We are going to review the list with Christian and have him choose his favorite veggies to include in his meals in the upcoming weeks.  He is very interested in helping in the kitchen so we are going to get him as involved as much as possible. 


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