Saturday, August 20, 2016

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Parenting is hard, right?

Oh. It's not for you? Maybe it's just me. 

Whatever.

My point is that parenting is hard enough without worrying about whether or not your kid's getting the right nutrition. Now, I'm aware that we all have our "things". You know. Those things that are important to you that your kids get. Top of the priority list. 

Each family has different "things". 

Maybe you're super particular about your kid saying "Mam" and "Sir". Or, you're funny about having them read a certain amount of books every day. Or you can let a lot slide but your kids better look cute. Or maybe you just consider it a win if your child makes it through the day without rubbing poop all over the walls.

Whatever.

To each his own.

Whatever it is, I imagine most parents wouldn't be upset if their kid ate more vegetables. So, I've come up with a list of 5 (((easy))) ways to help encourage your kid to eat better. 

Maybe (if your kid isn't a complete turd) one or more of these could work for you.



1. Make sure YOU'RE eating your fruits and veggies.
This one maaaaay seem like a bit of a no brainer but really step back and look at what you eat in the day. Dad, are you strictly a meat and potatoes kind of guy? Mom, are you surviving on Oreos and ice cream but insisting your child eat their broccoli? Prooooobably not going to work. Put your big kid pants on and eat your own broccoli. 

*Free parenting tip*
Don't throw those Oreos and ice cream away! Hide them in the freezer and trade off with your partner distracting the kids while the other hides in the pantry and eats all the good stuff. If you dump the Oreos out of their bag into an empty vegan burger patty box, the kids will never catch on.

Or so I've heard...


2. Make them taste like something else.
I'm not above trickery. 

Muwahahahaha...

This green smoothie my child is drinking? Tastes like a peanut butter milkshake. Not even lying. Frozen banana, peanut butter, little bit of maple syrup, and a crap ton of spinach. If your kid is turned off by the green color, throw in some dates or blueberries to give it a nice brown color. Or head to Pinterest and search for "Zucchini Bread" or "Zucchini Brownies" or something to that effect. Pinterest is the jackpot for finding recipes that hide vegetables.



3. Get the kids involved in the process.
If your child is old enough, let them chop the veggies, wash the potatoes, etc. The more they can help and be involved, the more likely they are to want to eat it. If they're smaller, let them feed themselves. Yes, it makes more of a mess. Yes, it'll be a (MUCH) slower process. But the trade off is worth it.

Most of the time.



4. Chop them small.
If you're putting Spinach on pizza or bell peppers in the pasta, chop them really small. This almost falls under the "hide them" category but not quite. They're just less likely to notice them if they aren't having to pull entire leaves of spinach out of their teeth.



5. Put them in fun containers.
I'm a big fan of the muffin tin meals. Again, if you've never seen them, Pinterest.

Cali loves to eat out of a muffin tin. I'm not sure what it is but she thinks it's hilarious. I could put anything in a muffin tin and she'll eat it.


Lastly (another free tip) don't stress over it. I know that's easier said than done but if you're trying, then you're already ahead of the game. They're kids. Popcorn, Pop-Tarts, ice cream, and even Oreos every now and then aren't going to hurt them. 

Actually, I'd venture as far as to say it's GOOD for them. I mean, ice cream is good for the soul and emotional health is just as important as physical. 

In my book anyways. 








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