If you have picky eaters, the best vegetables to put on their plate are likely whatever they’ll actually eat. According to kidshealth.org, half your child’s plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, but getting kids to eat their veggies can be a sticky task for moms and dads.
To hit the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily for kids, let children sample various veggies to see what they like … and how they like them. Often, children disregard a vegetable because of texture such as turning their nose up at cooked carrots, but you may find they love raw carrots. Also, how you prepare them may make a different. Some children may prefer the naturally good taste that veggies offer instead of a salted or over seasoned version. Some experts advise not to push too hard or you’ll just make meal times a bigger battle.
Consider these options to get everyone in your home munching happily on their veggies:
- Give them a little control. If they don’t like celery, allow them to pass on it in favor of another vegetable choice.
- Raw or cooked. Texture matters for many. Don’t rule out a specific vegetable until you’ve offered it both raw and cooked.
- Lighten up on additives. Try offering plain steamed broccoli instead of seasoned or smothered in cheese to see if your family likes the natural option better.
- Make them easy to grab. For many older children, whatever is quickest to grab from the fridge works. Keep a container of peel and washed carrots and other chopped veggies handy.
- Put it on a pizza. Make a veggie pizza – and recruit the kiddos a help pick what vegetable should be included. Who passes on pizza?
If all else fails in your vegetable efforts, nutritionists say there is a silver lining. First, fruits and vegetable had the same nutrients so what your children won’t eat in veggie form they may get in the fruit they consume. Plus, people’s tastes change and children eventually grow up; maybe spinach won’t seem in a year or two.