Kids & Veggies – are these two a good match?
Getting your kids to eat healthy can be one of the biggest challenges you face as a parent. As the rate of childhood obesity continues to rise, parents must take the right steps to ensure that their kids stay healthy.
Childhood represents the most important time for physical development, and a healthy diet is the foundation of long-term health and wellness. But getting your little ones to eat vegetables and other healthy foods isn’t always easy.
Benefits of Eating Vegetables
Many parents aren’t sure how to get them to develop the habits they’ll need for a healthy life. Encouraging kids to eat vegetables is one of the most important steps parents can take.
Vegetables offer a wide range of benefits for children and adults. Including more vegetables in you and your child’s daily food intake reduces the risk of becoming overweight and developing many health issues.
Vegetables provide nutrients that are critical to the development and function of the body and mind. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The fiber in vegetables helps to optimize digestion and protect against high levels of cholesterol.
Tips for Kids
If you want to get your little ones to eat vegetables, you need to consider a few key things. Rather than trying to force them to eat vegetables, think about what will motivate them to eat healthy.
The following are some tips you can begin implementing today:
Go slowly – Trying to change your child’s eating habits overnight can end up working against you. Instead, introduce new vegetables slowly, allowing them to adjust to new foods and flavor. This will increase the chances of instilling long-term habits and showing them that it’s okay to add new foods to their diets.
Add some flavor – Let’s face it, some vegetables aren’t as tasty as the foods your kids may be used to. But you can overcome this small challenge by incorporating dressings and dips. Use complementary foods such as salsa, hummus, or yogurt to enhance the flavor of vegetables and make them more appealing to kids.
Let Your Kids Cook With You – Children love to try new things. Letting them take part in cooking their meals engages them and motives them to eat the foods they prepare. Let them take an active role when shopping at the grocery store and choosing what foods to buy.
Grow Your Own Vegetables – Growing vegetables in a garden is one of the best ways to get your little ones to eat vegetables. Not only does it provide a cost-effective and educational way to introduce healthy foods into your child’s diet, but it also teaches valuable skills that they can use for years to come.
Make it fun – When eating healthy is fun, children are more likely to do it on a regular basis. Think of some fun and creative ways to introduce vegetables to your little ones. Make funny shapes out of the vegetables you put on their plates and use colors creatively. This builds a positive association with vegetables in your child’s mind, which they’ll carry with them into adulthood.
Teach by example – Children model the behaviors they see. When they see you eating and enjoying a variety of vegetables, they’ll be more likely to do the same. Conversely, a poor diet and lifestyle habits makes it hard to get your kids to develop positive health habits. Your actions speak louder than words.
Don’t Push It
You can also create negative associations with vegetables. Putting undue pressure on your child to eat vegetables can backfire. Not only can they become resistant to following your advice, but they may also become even more particular when it comes to the foods they eat. Be patient when it comes to introducing vegetables to your child’s diet.
You can these tips to get your little ones to eat vegetables and develop lifelong health habits. They’ll reduce their risk of developing health issues in the future while optimizing their physical and mental development. Eating more vegetables is an easy way to establish the most important habits for a healthy life.