Getting My Child To Eat Their Veggies

23/05/2017

Vegetables are an important part of daily nutrition, and it’s especially important for the growth and development of little ones.  Getting your toddler to eat their veggies is difficult enough as it is but if you ever raised a picky eater, you would know the struggle is real.  By the time toddlers reach the age of two and three years old, they have become more independent, have gained clarity on their own personal preferences, and they adapt their behaviours on how to get more of what it is they want.  This could be why so many people refer to these years’ in a childs’ life as the terrible twos and threes; because they have no problem with throwing a tantrum or saying NO in order to get what they want (not to mention that they often have no regard as to whether said tantrum is thrown in the privacy of your home or in the middle of a crowded super market).

This is where working with your children instead of against them can really help a mom or dad out… especially when broccoli and carrots are involved!  Keep in mind this may require tactical planning, strategising, and some critical thinking skills!  Here are some ways you can get your “little” to eat their fruits and vegetables!

Tips to Get My Child To Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables

 

  • Keep them on an eating schedule.

Keeping your child on a schedule, especially with food, sets everyone in your home, up for success.  A child knows what to expect and you can line up my itinerary around mealtimes, playtimes and naptimes.  Surprisingly, you can also schedule a veggie time before the mealtime.  Again, creativity wins so the more fun and creative the veggie time, the more the children will look forward to it!

  • Start small and use small servings.

Whenever you give your child something new to try, start small.  Some kids, not all, but some are set in their ways. And keep in mind that children have smaller tummies than adults; they don’t need to eat a whole large Caesar salad to get the nutritional value they need.  A few carrot and cucumber sticks ought to do the trick!

  • Smorgasbord it!

Children often like variety, so cutting up a mini veggie tray with varying colours can make things more appetizing for them!  Make silly faces with the food or have your child do it themselves.  Creativity usually wins the game here; think up fun unique ways of presenting these new fun finger-foods and find what works best for your tot!

  • Have them choose what they want/offer them a choice

Toddlers are independent and they want to be the masters of their fate!!  And when it comes to food, there is no exception.  So, let them be the masters of their fate!  You could ask them to choose which one they want:  bananas, strawberries, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots or capsicum.

Instead of making them eat whatever vegetables were prepared, they are in control of what goes in their tummies.

  • Dip it!!

Kids love having fun, and fun with food is no exception!  If you can find yummy things for your child to dip their vegetables in, such as ranch dressing, hummus, or yogurt, then you have gotten them to eat their veggies for life!

  • Have a friend come over, about the same age or slightly older, that knows how to eat veggies

Never underestimate the power of mimicry.  Children love to mimic bigger kids and their behaviours.  Having a slightly older child who loves their greens and encourages the younger child to give it a try may work for some kids.

Sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks in the book!

  • Juice it

If all else fails, make it fun!  Turn it into a yummy smoothie!  Not all juices have to use fruits, and not all smoothies have to be made with milk or yogurt.  There are so many different variations you can try, and the fun colours often get the kids excited!

 

 

In summary, there are many things you can do to get your children to eat their veggies.  The above are a few tips that supported me personally as well as some of the children at Little Human Scholars playschool and preschool in Petaling Jaya.

Little Human Scholars is located near Jaya One, Jaya33, IT Mall, University hospital, PJ Old Town and PJ New Town in Petaling Jaya.  They have a comprehensive meal plan which incorporates fresh fruits and veggies in their meals if the parents opt to have their child eat their lunch at school or daycare.  If that isn’t enough, Little Human Scholars is a playschool, preschool, kindergarten, daycare and nursery which takes children as young as two months old!  And yes, they incorporate everything stated above!

Wishing you endless fun with your toddler and their veggies!

 

Jana Moreno

Why Can’t My Child Make Friends?Learning Through Play – School in Petaling Jaya