Warming Up To Veggies
As we were working together with our ten-year old son in the pack shed on Friday bagging greens, he explained that he is the only kid in his class who even knows what tasoi looks like. While we didn’t argue his point, we were quick to consider the diet of the other kids in our community. What are their parents doing to break down their picky eaters and get their kids to fill their plates half full of fruits and veggies? If you struggle with your children or grandchildren, we have some tips that can help.
First, get the kids involved in the meal planning process. Take them to the farmers market, store, your freezer or fridge and have them choose the vegetables that will go with your meal. Try not to leave the choices open ended. Give them two or three items to choose from to make it easier.
Second, make them help with prep. They can wash or peel or maybe even chop depending on their age. Some will be able to stir the pot or mix together seasonings. Not only are they invested in the meal, they are more likely to eat it having helped create the dish.
Third, keep it simple. There are several veggies that our eight-year old will eat raw but turns his nose up when cooked. Rutabaga, kohlrabi and turnips to name a few. And really, what is it going to hurt to set aside some carrots or broccoli from the steamer and letting them eat it raw? We often make casseroles and this displeases our picky eater. He likes his veggies separate from the other ingredients. Keep it simple and turn to blended dishes that already contain veggies that you know they like. And don’t underestimate the power of butter to mask the bitterness of vegetables!
Fourth, avoid eating snacks before mealtime. Our kids are good at ransacking the cupboards before we come in the house to make supper. They are “starving!” but come supper time they don’t eat. Make sure they are hungry or don’t plan on eating a big meal. And don’t forget to set a good example yourself. Embracing veggies will become second nature and lead to a life of healthy eating if you push your kids to love veggies today.
Playing every trick in our book,