Friday, August 5, 2011

How To Get Your Kid To Eat Vegetables

I often hear complaints from other parents that their child just won't eat vegetables.  From my experience, although limited, I offer you these tips:

A younger Liam sporting a Green Monster mustache.

1.  Give him vegetables.  At every meal.  If he doesn't like them, keep offering them.  Kids will eat something one day that they wouldn't touch the day before, they're weird like that.  You could also try a different method of preparation, adding a little butter or olive oil, or some spice.  Kids don't like bland food, either.

"Mmmm, broccoli.  My favorite!"
He likes the corn.  How do we teach him not to eat the cob?

2.  Eat your vegetables. I repeat: At every meal.  Don't like vegetables?  Doesn't matter.  No making faces allowed.  If you want your kids to like them, put on an Oscar worthy performance to make them think you do. 

Tonight's supper, straight from our garden.  This was just my first helping!

3.  Buy or grow fresh vegetables.    There are huge flavor and texture differences in canned and frozen vegetables when compared to fresh.  If you can grow your own (or buy them at a farmer's market), you're likely to get an even better tasting vegetable. 

Container gardening in our front yard: Spinach and greens.

4.  Hide the vegetables, but only as a last resort.  The only vegetable I have to hide for Liam is fresh spinach, and that's because he doesn't have enough teeth to chew the leaves yet.  I make Green Monster smoothies for us to share.  They are a delicious way to get picky children (or children with no molars!) to eat their greens.  You can puree carrots and celery into pasta sauce, cauliflower into mashed potatoes.  Or consult Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious for other great ways to hide vegetables. 

Green Monster smoothie= Delish!

I readily admit that by no means am I an expert in parenting, but these simple rules have worked well for us.  Have a picky spouse?  I have a sneaking suspicion these tips will work on picky adults as well! 

Now let's all raise our Green Monsters and have a toast to vegetable-loving children!

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