I recently read about a great tip for getting kids interesting in buying, cooking, and eating vegetables, and it seems far too savvy of an idea not to pass it along.
Every week, take your kids to the grocery store or market and ask them each to select two different vegetables. Take the veggies home and decide together how you will cook them (flip through cookbooks, search for online recipes, or create something on your own). Cook things you already know they like, such as fries (sweet potatos), chips (use kale!), guacamole, and smoothies (try a green smoothie), before building up to new dishes to introduce them to. When you serve the vegetable the kids are sure to get so excited over seeing ‘their’ produce on the plate they are guaranteed to try new foods, even if they don’t always like them.
Isn’t that so smart? Here are a few other tips I have collected over the years:
- Trying serving the vegetables first. Offer a fancy crudité platter or salad as a first course before serving the main meal. Because the kids are sure to be hungry, they will scarf down loads of veggies before filling up on pasta, meat and other items being served for dinner.
- In order to get kids to try a variety of bell peppers try playing a game with them: ask the kids to close their eyes, give them some fresh pepper sticks to sample and see if they can guess the colour of the pepper by the taste.
- Let them try their vegetables with any kind of condiment they like, even if it means adding some ketchup to the plate. Eventually they will acquire a taste for the vegetable and ditch the flavour additions altogether.
- Come up with silly names for the vegetables to make eating them much more fun. Dinosaur trees are so much cooler than broccoli!
- Model enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables and the kids are sure to follow along eventually.
Do you have trouble getting your kids to devour their fruits and veggies? What are some of your favourite tricks and tips for getting them to eat their greens (and other colours of the rainbow)?