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How To Feed Veggies To Your Picky Kids

Are you a frustrated parent who has tried every trick to get your child to finish up all the vegetables? It’s no secret that veggies are packed with nutrients and low in calories, high in fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals. However, you would still see the screwed-up nose in the distaste of certain vegetables. You are not alone in this struggle of getting your kids to eat the veggie monster and reducing mealtime spawns.

Striking a balance is the key. If you observe your child loving cheesy pasta, try adding mixed vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, and carrots to it. Introduce new vegetables with something they already like (1). This way you can encourage them to develop a healthy relationship with food without cribbing and whining over it.

Another way to introduce new food is to give it to them in small portions every day or with snacks. Are you more likely to eat something yummy or something healthy? When you start calling vegetables yummy instead of healthy, it gives the impression that veggies don’t have to be boring. They can be tasty like pasta. Here are some of the simple yet effective methods you can try to get your child to like or even love their vegetables.

Pair The Veggies With Less Appealing Food

It’s only natural that if you put carrots, spinach, and broccoli next to a hamburger, your kids will gobble up the scratch leaving the vegetables. Because your kids do not understand the concept of nutrition, they care more about the food that tastes good. The way to make the veggies desirable is to present them with less yummy food or with a tasty dip right before dinner so they don’t have to compete with starchy food.


Participate In Choosing Veggies

When you make the process of planning a meal seem like a game, your kids will enjoy it more and feel a sense of control. Going shopping for groceries together is another way you can get them to select their choice of vegetables thereby encouraging them to make their own choices.


Prepare A Vegetable Soup

This will work well for cozy winters when everyone just wants to sip something warm and tasty. Veggies have no other food to compete with which makes them easy to consume. Spice it up with herbs and other spices to bring out the flavor of the vegetables. Remember to choose slightly sweet veggies like carrots as kids enjoy them more.


Introduce And Reintroduce The Vegetables

When it comes to new food, don’t pressurize your kids into eating them. The more you try to force-feed them, the more disgusted and irritated they will become. Keep the portion small or introduce it with their favorite dish. If your child refuses to eat a certain vegetable even after you’ve tried it a bunch of times, don’t be discouraged. Continue to reintroduce that vegetable in different shapes and sizes, there’s a chance they’ll eventually warm up to it (2).


Don’t Sneak In The Veggies

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to sneak in the vegetable in almost everything just to get their child to eat them. Don’t be one of them. Be open to your kids about the vegetables and offer them to choose the ones that go in. Adding vegetables to smoothies regularly will make it seem normal and the kids won’t be repulsed by it.


Serve Small Proportions and Familiar Texture

Kids are not the best when it comes to trying new things, let alone vegetables. They eat with their eyes first and then try the texture. Try to serve vegetables in smaller proportions, especially when introducing a new texture. Once they take a liking to it, they would automatically ask for more.


Make Veggies Fun And Kid Friendly

Cut them into different shapes, offer dips, associate different vegetables with superhero names and watch your kid love them. Presenting different colour vegetables in a form of a rainbow can also seem to appeal to your child.


Other Reasons Why Your Child Is A Picky Eater

There could be something worth paying attention to when your child just won’t eat certain types of food. Sometimes trying again is not the option, you need to observe their reactions while eating. Here are some of the reasons why your child might not be a veggie fan.


Texture Aversion

It’s possible that your child has sensory sensitivity if they are more drawn to mushy, gooey, wet, or slippery food. Working with a nutritionist would give you more insight into how to incorporate all the nutrients into your child’s diet.


Your Child Is A Supertaster

As a supertaster, your child will find the bitter taste in vegetables extremely unpleasant. They are sensitive to the bitter taste and this creates an aversion to eating veggies such as broccoli and spinach. The key is continuous exposure and healthy discussion on how the food makes them feel (3).


Food Allergy

Although less common, your child might have a vegetable allergy which could severely affect their growth and development. You may see a reaction as soon as they come in contact with a vegetable or one hour after eating them. It is best to consult with a doctor in case you notice any such symptoms (4).


Food Jag Due To Short-Order Cooking

Does your child eat only one thing every day? Have you become a short-order cook only making food that your child demands? Chances are that you have yourself a food jag. Short-order cooking is also enabling your child’s unhealthy eating habits. It could result in malnutrition as the food that your child is eating lacks the required amount of nutrients. Start by making one meal for the entire family. Children mimic their parent’s behavior so they are more likely to eat vegetables if you start eating them yourself (5)


Proper nutrition is essential for growth and vegetables are a powerhouse of them. You can try the above remedies to get your child to consume all the veggies without scrunching his nose or furrowing his eyebrows. You can also try some kid-friendly recipes like spinach and carrot smoothie, pea soup, tomato-based spaghetti sauce, etc. Do let us know in the comment section if you have any other tips under your sleeves for all the struggling parents. .

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