Are fruits and vegetables your battle ground? We all know that kids can be difficult and put up a fight when it comes to eating their fruits and veggies. It has been a fun challenge over the years to figure out how to introduce new foods to picky eaters. Here are some tips to help encourage your children to eat their fruits and veggies!
Monkey See, Monkey Do! It’s simple, lead by example! If you practice healthy eating habits, they’re more likely to copy you. This will help kids become more familiar with new foods.
Children’s taste buds are still developing and it can sometimes take 10-15 times of offering a new food before a child will feel open to it.
- Give your child options to find out what they like. For example, offer raw and cooked vegetables. Maybe your child will like one but not the other!
- Just having the house stocked with fresh produce and put out in bowls on the counter can introduce these foods to your kids.
- Offer a fruit and vegetable at every meal and snack
All Hands on Deck! Ask your kids for help in the kitchen.
- Take your child grocery shopping with you and have them pick out fruits and vegetables that they want to try.
- Let your child help out in the kitchen! Anything from letting them wash the vegetables to helping them chop up foods.
- Start a garden in the backyard and let your children to be your garden helpers
- It may be a mess, but even letting your kids play with food is a fun way to get them comfortable with new foods. For example, finger painting with blended carrots!
Keep it positive! Encourage your child to try new foods.
- Don’t tell your kids they “have” to eat their vegetables. This may make your child dislike the food even more!
- Make snacks and meals fun! Cut their food into creative shapes or use bright colors.
- Try sneaking fruits and vegetables into other ingredients. The taste may go unnoticed! For example, using chopped spinach in spaghetti sauce.
Is your family always in a rush in the mornings? This super simple breakfast recipe is perfect for on-the-go and an easy way to start the day off with some kid friendly vegetables!
- Cooking Spray
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 3/4 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375°F.
- Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
- Cut the bell pepper and spinach into small pieces. Add the peppers, spinach, and shredded cheddar to the egg mixture.
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until centers are no longer runny.
Recipe adapted from Super Healthy Kids
Make snack time fun! Turn plain old fruits and vegetables into a piece of art. Find more ideas on Pinterest.
Written by: Serena Chang, UT Dietetic Intern