Small utensils for small hands.
One of the secrets to getting your child to eat all their vegetables, is getting them involved in cooking! When they can take ownership of a project, they have a tendency to be very proud of the results. Here are some tips to getting your child more involved with consuming your Chow Locally share.
1) Let them choose the ingredients:
When you bring home your share, sort through the produce with them. Tell them the name of each item and ask them what they like about each one. They may like that it is green, multicolored, or that Lacinato kale (also named Dino kale) looks like the scales of a dinosaur! Once they pick something they like, help them come up with a dish to make with it.
2) Get an Apron or Utensils:
One way to get them into vegetables is to start teaching them to cook, and making them feel a true part of the process is giving them equipment. Not only is it a valuable life skill, but they will have a lot of fun in the cooking process.
There are special utensils made just for the hands of babes, so they can help! Just do all the chopping and let them add ingredients, as you instruct them. Even something as simple as letting them toss the salad is a big deal, in their eyes! This will require some patience on your part, but they will appreciate all the extra time spent with you!
3) You’re a role model — not a short-order cook:
Let them eat what you eat, from as early of an age as possible. Just make sure you’re eating what you want them to eat, of course… You must be the role model! If you must, mix vegetables with rice, or another grain your child likes. Simply sauté the vegetables in a little bitter or olive oil with spices, and toss with the grains.
4) Let them dip vegetables!
We all know most vegetables are good with ranch dressing, but most kids also love hummus. Lace hummus with pureed edamame, roasted red peppers, or artichokes for an extra punch of nutrition.
5) Roasting vegetables:
One of my daughter’s favorite ways to eat vegetables is roasted. Toss big chunks of your favorite vegetable (I like broccoli!) with olive oil and add salt and pepper — maybe ass a few extra of your favorite seasonings. Be creative! Roast most veggies in a 350 degree F oven. The veggies become nutty in a way that steaming or raw simply cannot duplicate.
6) Do not force them to eat veggies:
This could bring about a negative association with the vegetable, or an indignant attitude towards the family table. Whatever you do, try your best to keep a positive attitude about vegetables and eating. You never know when they may decide to follow suit.
These are just a few fun ways to incorporate more veggies into your child’s diet. Some things appeal more to some, but there are always new things to try. Because vegetables carry an array of nutrients and varieties, realize that you do not have to eat every type of vegetable to be a happy and healthy family.
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