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How to Get Kids to Love Vegetables

Begging your child to eat a single piece of broccoli is practically a rite of passage for any parent, since kids are notoriously picky eaters. However, there is much at stake when it comes to your eating troubles, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 60 million American children aren’t eating enough vegetables.

Kids Eating Vegetables

While it may be challenging, it’s crucial that your child doesn’t miss out on the myriad of nutritional benefits found in veggies. After all, it’s our duty as parents to give our children the very best. Read on to find out how you can get your kids to both eat and love veggies!

Plant a Vegetable Garden

With the wide array of food options available at the grocery store, it’s easy to get tempted to buy junk. This is why you should consider building a vegetable garden in your backyard, as this not only gives you quick access to healthy options, but it also means you have a fun activity to enjoy with your kids. As we’ve previously shared in our guide on ‘How to Start a Backyard Vegetable Garden’, children can fall in love with natural food when they help facilitate the process. Gardening is a great way for kids to learn the value of eating right, since taking care of vegetables will help them develop a deep appreciation for them. Consider planting colorful vegetables like peppers when you grow your garden, since OC Mom Blog founder Shelby Barone has a delicious and nutritious kid-friendly recipe for stuffed peppers.

Get Creative

Did you know that potatoes have more potassium than bananas and more vitamin C than oranges? However, it’s important to be mindful of how you prepare your veggies so they get the most of their nutritional value. Although dousing potatoes in oil for some French fries may seem like an easy way to get your child to love them, this preparation means that they won’t be getting any of the nutrients from the potato but will absorb all of the unhealthy fat from the oil. Instead, registered dietician Kelly Johnston told Parsley Health that it’s best to roast them for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees, before adding a little olive oil and herbs. For a sweeter option, you can blend sweet potatoes with unsweetened almond milk for a creamy, dreamy smoothie. By trying out new things, your kids will see — and of course, taste — veggies in a new and exciting way.

Take Your Kids to the Kitchen

With these healthy recipes and even more at your disposal, why not make your child the sous-chef in the kitchen? Molly Birnbaum of America’s Test Kitchen Kids notes that cooking allows children to broaden their horizons on food, since it makes them be more creative, develops their collaboration skills, and improves their critical thinking skills. This way, your kid won’t think of veggies as a foe, but a friend, instead. Your relationship with your child also plays a key role in the way they eat, as a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that children develop negative eating habits when their parents are too controlling. Spending quality time together in the kitchen creates a safe space to teach them the importance of staying healthy, and that eating vegetables is an essential way to do so.

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