Another day spent preparing meals for your little one and another day of NO VEGGIES. I feel you on this one. While it is hard not to sweat the issue, here are my top strategies to increase food acceptance for veggies
Get them in the kitchen. I know, I know. It’s messy and inefficient and they can’t do that much when they are little. But I can’t stress how important it is to include the little people in meal prep. Children are much more likely to eat a food if they have been included in the process. So have some dish towels handy and get your little to wash the veggies, peel the corn, pick the leaves off the lettuce, or even slice the veggies (with a butter knife, supervised of course).
Give them choice. Ask them to choose which veggie will go on their plate? Cucumber today? Cherry tomato? Broccoli trees? Let them have the independance to choose again helps with acceptance.
Sit and eat together. I know this is a hard one. You have busy schedules and multiple after school activities to get to. So find a time, even if it is one or two meals a week, where you can sit down as a family and eat together. When children see other kids or parents eating different foods they are more likely to try it for themselves.
Make veggies taste good. So often, I have parents trying to get their kids to eat plain, raw veggies and the kids just aren’t going for it. Increase flavours of veggies with a little melted butter, dips like Ranch dressing, or even roasting the veggies can mellow out strong flavours for cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
Don’t make veggies the ‘bad guys’ I also see this strategy all the time “two more bites of broccoli before you get desert” this makes kids think that these foods are ‘so bad’ they need to be bribed into eating them.
Don’t sweat it. Kids feel the pressure. They see you watching them. The less pressure kids feel to eat the better eater they become.