Children don’t always want to eat their vegetables. Make up a game at the dinner table to see who can come up with the funniest name for your vegetables! If you have a picky eater who won’t touch a plate with leafy greens or an unfamiliar vegetable, you may be wondering what to do. Try these tips:
- At the grocery store, let children pick their own fruit or vegetable.
- For variety, try a different color each week.
- Fill the shopping basket with a fruit or vegetable from every color in the rainbow.
- Let them play with their food. Use slices, dices, pieces and whole fruits and vegetables
to be creative.
- Make colorful and funny fruit and vegetable faces. Make a game out of it (who can make the funniest face), then eat them together.
- Make an edible landscape. For example, use a banana slice as the sunshine, broccoli as trees, leafy greens for grass, etc.
- Give fruits and vegetables a funny name.
- Let children help prepare fruits and vegetables. They can:
- Wash fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating
- Snap the peas or break apart the broccoli
- Tear the lettuce for salads and sandwiches
- Measure the vegetables before cooking
- Peel fruits and vegetables
- Slice soft vegetables with a plastic knife
- Read books about fruits and vegetables with your child.
- Introduce children to gardening to teach them how fruits and vegetables grow.
- Plant seeds together and watch them grow.
- Set a good example ― eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables with your child.
- Have your child eat with another child who loves fruits and vegetables.
Establishing a love for fruits and vegetables while your children are young will help them be healthy now and in the future. A diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables will provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber that children need to grow. Studies show that eating fruits and vegetables can help your child maintain a healthy weight, keep bowels regular, and decrease the chance of diseases like heart disease and cancer. Start now to establish a lifetime of healthy eating habits for your children.
To view the whole PDF from University of Nebraska Extension, click here.
Be Sneaky with your vegetables, how to sneak them into your picky eaters food!
Play a game at Dinner Tonight that will help engage your child with eating vegetables and fruits.