How you get your kids eating vegetables?

If your already follow me on instagram, you probably know already that my kids love eating vegetables more than meat. They can become vegetarian easily but that’s not our goal at this moment.

Other questions popped up “Since when they eat vegetables?”, “How you cook your vegetables?”, “What vegetables they like most?” and many more.

In this article, I will share my own tips that I really do in my house. All of the tips are from my own experiences. Ok, let’s dig in on getting kids to eat vegetables.

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables

I will not give tips and trick on how to cook our vegetables or how to hide vegetables.

My tips will start from us, parents. It won’t be easy but if you keep reading it, it will give some senses and plans for you.

 

Food Art of Children Book's Character. It is made from bell pepper, cucumber, egg, wraps, and quinoa.

Everyone has different personality, especially us, parents.

What works for me, it doesn’t mean it will work for you but I can give you some basic ideas to start.

This tips come straight from my daily situation at home.

Kids, Parents and Eating Vegetables

I will write down 2 questions along with the tips on how to make the best out of it.

1. “Do we love vegetables?”

This is a fair question to ask. If we don’t love vegetables, don’t force our kids to love vegetables. It’s a basic rule. Kids imitate their parents. Kids are like soldier follow what their commander does.

They will be confused when the commander says “Eat your vegetables. Vegetables is good for you” but the commander never eats vegetables.

2. “Do we like only certain vegetables?”

What if parents only like cauliflowers, broccoli and carrots and they keep serving only those three vegetables.

Is it possible to serve other vegetables? Is it ok keeping only serving three vegetables all the time?

Those are the most important questions for ourselves.

How is our vegetables eating habit? Do we like only certain vegetables? Do we like all vegetables?

When we know our habit and preference, we can make a plan on how to get our kids eating vegetables.

TIPS ON GETTING KIDS EATING VEGETABLES 

1. Choose 3 vegetables that don’t have the same colors.

Why it has to be different colors? Different colors mean different nutrition. Keep consistent with that and don’t serve all of three at the same time. For example: Monday: carrots, Wednesday: broccoli, Friday: bell peppers.

2. Start with small portions.

The goal is that everyone finishes their vegetables. Eating vegetables should be fun and it’s not associated with pressure.

3. Don’t hide the vegetables.

Well, you can hide it but don’t lie about it. It’s important for kids to know exactly what they eat. If we hide it, we still have to tell them what vegetables are in it. If they don’t like it, there are always room for discussion and try another vegetables.

4. Be creative on how to serve.

There are many ways to cook: fry, steam, and boil. Please, don’t mind about what is the best way to keep the nutrition. Our goal is to enjoy vegetables. Keep to that goal first.

5. It’s an ongoing process.

Think of this situation as a family bonding, learning together what vegetables everyone likes, dislike and the compromise in between.

6. Stick to the rules & be consistent.

Rules are important. It informs our brain that we make progress, that we make a success. If the rule is everyone should have one bowl of vegetables before dinner, so stick to it. Everyone should do it and wait until everyone finishes their vegetables before having the main course. We can make a game by counting the time or counting the vegetables.

Important tips:

  • Before dining-out, eating our vegetables at home first.
  • If eating vegetables at home isn’t possible, prepare the vegetables and put them in container. Then the whole family can enjoy their vegetables in the car on the way to restaurant. Remember this phrase: Kids see, kids do.
  • If eating in the car isn’t possible, order boil vegetables in the restaurant. Usually, they will do it with a fair price. Everyone can enjoy their vegetables before having the main course.
  • Rules are very important even for the simple one, like eating 2 carrots before having dinner. When there is resistance, keep following the rules.

7. Set a Routine

Kids love routine because they know what will happen next. It creates a sense of security. They know what to expect. Set a routine when and how they will have vegetables.

Here are the routines in our house:

  • My boys will have a big bowl of vegetables before having dinner.
  • In the weekend, they will have vegetables also during snack time.
  • I pack vegetables in the small container for their snack time at school.
  • If they don’t finish their vegetables, they have to finish it when they are home.

8. Don’t over do with rewards.

Eating vegetables should become a habit, not an obstacle to conquer. Well, perhaps rewards can be given once a while…

Ok, I will give some tips on rewards. This is how we do it at home…

Kids imitate us, adult. They see adults like someone who is in charge in situation. That’s how we are, parents. We choose, we decide what is good. Let kids do that too, they want to be in charge too, once a while, like us, adults.

Give them that chance by asking questions and let them choose:

  • We can say “How old are you?” and let them eat vegetables based on their age number.
  • We can ask them to choose, just choose a number, “Do you want to eat 8 carrots or carrots?” They will go for 7 for sure but let them do what they promise.
  • Let them choose what vegetables they would like to have.
  • Include them in the meal preparation.
  • Learning together about vegetables, nutrition and the benefit of having a good nutrition.

9. This is the ultimate tips. Making FOOD ART!

Yes. Yes. You guess it, you are right. Making food art for them or making food art with them and having vegetables in the food art!

You can mix the vegetables they like and the vegetables they don’t like (in smaller portion) and make food art out of it. My kids eat with their eyes first. So, food art is definitely a MUST TO-DO activity to introduce new vegetables and fruits for them. Also, they loveeeeee to be involved in the food art making. The more they do it by themselves, the more likely they will finish it. Here below is one of their food art that they made in their youtube chanel : food art challenge. 

Food Art Workshop Zwolle Nederland
Food Art Workshop Zwolle Nederland

But…

What if it’s too late to get my kids eating vegetables?

What if my kids really hate vegetables?

It’s all coming back to us, parents. How you see this?

If you see that there’s nothing wrong with that, then carry on.

If you see that this is not the time to start, then follow your guts.

If you see this situation as a wake-up call then make a plan.

It’s all about progression, not perfection.

One small step ahead is always better.

I hope this article give you some ideas on how to get your kids eating vegetables. I will be happy to share more ideas and tips.

You can send me message : contact@sekarnareswari.com

Or take a sneak peak in our youtube channel. Let’s eat vegetables!! 

Happy to know you,

Food Art Zwolle

Sekar Nareswari

The creative head of Sekar Food Art & Workshop. She is  mastering her food art's skill & coaching in The Netherlands, Philippines & Indonesia. Her friends describe her as a very energetic and creative person, her family sees her as a very expressive and extrovert person. Food Art & Workshop is her outlet to express her creativity, to boost her energy and to share her passion with others. She is currently living in Zwolle, The Netherlands. Connect with Sekar on Instagram.