Kids don’t always know what is good for them because if they did, they would eat broccoli and apples without a fuss. But they are only kids and so we as adults are tasked with ensuring they eat all that their body needs. While we won’t always win, we can try.
Veggie and Fruit lover
So, my niece is on this strict diet as I call it – everything sweet and nothing savory. Of course, she needs some vital vitamins and seeing as I babysit a lot while her mother attends hearings for child and spousal support, I have been experimenting on funs ways to feed her more fruits and veggies.
A Little Color Never Hurt Anyone
Colorful vegetables and fruits not only appeal to kids but they do adults too. I started preparing a plateful of oranges, blueberries, and a little mango and munchkin can’t get enough of it. I also noticed that it helps to serve your fruits in one big platter so you can share. They eat a lot better this way – at least some like my niece.
We did the same for dinner when we sautéed yellow and red bell peppers and a little red cabbage. She ate without a fuss and we couldn’t help but smile knowing all the nutrients she had ingested unknowingly.
Pique their Interest
Are they interested in a certain topic or country? Introduce that in their meals and see how they respond. Tel stories to go with the food such as beets turning your hands red as it may their tongue if they chew it. They will try it just to see their teeth and tongue turn red but in the process, eat a few pieces which is all you can ask sometimes.
Involve them in Preparation
My niece loves playing mommy and so we involve her in food preparation. She mixes things and opens the over door at time. At the table, she will be inclined to taste ‘the dish that she made’ and we will applaud her for the work she put in. she loves feeding us!
Allow them to express themselves
Kids have a lot to say about everything and we have learned to allow our little one to express herself. She tells us why she doesn’t like a certain meal and what she thinks we could do better. Since she knows she gets treats on a weekly basis based on her meals, we out up this calendar with pictures of foods she has weekly. She will select her favorites which we will note to include more often and explain what she dislikes in her least favorites. Of course, broccoli stays in her ‘least fav’ list simply for its color! Poor vegetable.
A Little Treat Goes a Long way
Initially, we were opposed to treating her after meals as we thought it would amount to bribing but we noted it does more good than harm. She tries a new vegetable almost every day these days just so she can get her share of gelato over the weekend. Oh, also, her gelato – well, it could be some fancy frozen yogurt but we won’t tell if you don’t.