Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies

After a long day at the office, running errands and getting the kids to soccer practice, finding time to cook as a parent can be stressful. What’s worse is trying to get your kids to eat what you cook, especially VEGGIES! Sometimes it is dejecting to deal with what it takes to get kids to eat the amount of fruits and veggies suggested by MyPlate – the government’s nutrition guide. Part of you just wants to give in and allow the children to eat what they want.

MyPlate recommends half of the dinner plate be full of fruits and veggies. That’s right – half of what children (and everyone, really!) are supposed to eat are wholesome veggies like broccoli and squash and fruits, including bananas and apples. That does not include kid-favorites like hotdogs, french fries, mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken fingers.

Which leads to the question, “How do I get my kids to eat more veggies?” Here are two useful tips that can help:

1. “Sneaky Mom” – Use the “Sneaky Mom” technique by hiding veggies in your kids favorite dishes, like pizza, burgers and lasagna.

 

One way is by using the “swapability” cooking technique. Substitute mushrooms for a portion of a higher calorie ingredient, such as meat. You not only add an extra serving of vegetables to the plate, but you also reduce calories and fat in a meal.

The swapability technique is as simple as three-steps:

  • Chop mushrooms to similar texture as meat, like ground beef
  • Cook the chopped mushrooms
  • Combine the cooked mushrooms with the meat

2. Make Cooking Fun – Involve your kids in the kitchen with the food preparation. Give them small tasks, such as washing fruits and veggies. Let them mix the salad or stir the sauce. When you have your kids help in the kitchen, it allows them to learn about nutrition and the foods they eat. Also, they’ll be more likely to try new foods they’ve helped make.

Feel free to share a comment below to let us know how you get your kids to eat more veggies!



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