Vegetables may be the most difficult food to get your toddler to eat. It may take more than one try or a different preparation for some children to warm up to vegetables and other novel foods. Vegetables not only provide essential nutrients for development but also if introduced to children at a young age, can help shape them into more adventurous eaters in the long run. If your preschooler isn’t a veggie eater, try these tips.
Vegetables are a great source of nutrition for children because they provide vitality. Vegetable consumption has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic illness in children. Two and a half to four and a half servings (or more) of vegetables per day are recommended for children younger than eight. Potassium, lycopene, micronutrients, and beta-carotene are just some of the brain-healthy nutrients that are abundant in leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
Expose These New Vegetables Gradually
Keep food portions and preparation methods in mind when introducing a new vegetable to your toddler or a vegetable that they have previously rejected. You can avoid them being put off or feeling overwhelmed by the full serving by starting with a small fraction, such as one or two bites. Vegetables vary in importance depending on their temperature and how they look.
Some children may prefer heated vegetables to cold ones, and they may also prefer vegetable coins to veggie strips. Shape vegetables like noodles and fries if your child enjoys those foods. Try not to show disappointment and refrain from providing an alternative food item if they refuse to eat the vegetables you provide. You can always give it another shot the next time you eat.
Take Them Shopping With You
Spend some time in the grocery store’s produce section if you have children in order to accustom them to eating healthy foods. Have them select a cauliflower or imply the desired tomato from a pile. Share your impressions of the vegetable’s flavor and its proper name with them. You can get your kids involved in the grocery shopping process without actually taking them with you by letting them choose veggies from a catalog or by having them help you unload the car when you get home.
Involve your children in the cooking process or at least let them observe while you do it to teach them about nutrition and cooking. Allow your kids to make their own recipes with at least one vegetable topping of their choice on pizza night. They’ll think it’s great because they are able to share their opinion on what to eat and how to eat it.
Weave These Vegetables In Their Favorite Dishes
Vegetables, especially if served on their own, may take some kids a while to warm up to. In these cases, it can be helpful to sneak vegetables into their favorite dishes. Add some diced or cut-into-small pieces of vegetables to your toddler’s favorite dishes, such as fried eggs, macaroni, cheese, or tacos. Incorporate zucchini noodles into your spaghetti dish.
Boiled carrots, lentils, sliced peppers, mushrooms, and other vegetables can be added to pizza or toast when toddlers are old enough to participate in meal preparation. Using the vegetables they select, have them create a smiley face. They wouldn’t easily notice that these vegetables are included in the dishes they love.
Make It Saucy Or A Smoothie
Vegetables have the great quality of being easily incorporated into meals, often in inconspicuous ways. There is an almost infinite number of ways in which vegetables can be incorporated into meals. Blending vegetables with other ingredients is a great way to sneak them into sauces and dips. Make some veggie tomato sauce, a caramelized onion dip, or green mac and cheese.
Applesauce with sugar beet and parsnips, smoothies made from nearly any vegetable, and ice lollies made from a blend of fruit and vegetables are just a few examples. Food like patties, salmon filets, egg bites, and frittatas should also be considered. They go well with the addition of chopped vegetables and herbs.
To sum it up, kids aren’t that tedious when it comes to consuming vegetables, we just have to make sure that what they eat is something they are ultimately interested in. They aren’t focused on how the meal was prepared or the flavors that are incorporated, what matters to them is their emotional attachment and perspective of the said vegetable.