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How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

by in Fruits and Veggies, Gardening, Pediatrics June 18, 2008

kidsvegetables.jpgAs a naturopath I have learned an appreciation for vegetables, and have had an easier time incorporating them into my diet.

Foods that I once perceived as evil, I actually now regularly eat.

I even eat seaweed!

Often I will read some scientific research on some piece of produce out there and think “Oh, well I guess I can eat that, I had no idea that broccoli was going to do all THAT for me!”

And so my Standard American Diet (SAD) has progressed from tuna casserole, Chef Boyardee, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to vegetables, brown rice, and flaxseeds.

Yes, I was once that annoying child that would sit in nightly combat with their parents over a Brussels sprout.

The rare exceptions that I would willfully eat vegetables were the summer months that my sister and I would spend “foraging” our backyard garden for carrots, green beans, tomatoes, herbs, radishes, raw corn right off the cob, fruit of the season and maybe even a freshly dug potato or two. I always freely ate those vegetables with a certain level of curiosity and adventure that a can of Brussels sprouts could never muster for me at the dinner table.

Personally I think the best way to get most children to eat, enjoy, and appreciate vegetables is to teach them how to grow their own. Growing vegetables is educational, fun and gives children a new found appreciation for food and how much work it takes to get it on their plate.

This is the perfect time to start a fun little gardening project like a children’s vegetable patch. You can even make a pretty decent kid’s garden in a big wooden planter. Simply fill it with fresh organic dirt so you know they will be safe to get their hands really dirty (and maybe their mouths too). Sprout seeds indoors and transfer them out to the patch when they are ready. Involve your kids with each step along the way. To learn more simply read my article on “How to Grow an Organic Kid’s Garden”.

Now most children that get the choice to be responsible for every part of the decision making process from which seeds to purchase, wear to plant, when to pick, and what recipe to make the vegetable in to, will have a tough time not being curious enough to want to sample and enjoy the final project.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table! What is your favorite tip for getting kids to eat healthier?

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

9 Comments
  1. I’ve found that if I set out the fruit and veggies that I want my kids to eat on a plate BEFORE they get hungry for a snack, they will sit down and eat them very willingly. Simply keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy food gives them good choices, and doesn’t create a battle over what they can’t eat. I also let them pick out a vegetable or two when we are at the store, it has a similar effect as the garden does on their willingness to try things.

  2. A “kids and veggies tip”….. I’ve discovered Balsamic Vinegar comes in a SPRAY bottle! The kids think its fabulous! They love to squirt AND all their veggies taste like salt and vinegar chips!!!! Win Win!
    They can also add the colour black to every meal – we count colours eaten at our place rather than quantity; 5 colours and you can leave the table; 6 and mummy sings a silly song; 7 gets rewarded with a treat!
    Fiona

  3. A “kids and veggies tip”….. I’ve discovered Balsamic Vinegar comes in a SPRAY bottle! The kids think its fabulous! They love to squirt AND all their veggies taste like salt and vinegar chips!!!! Win Win!
    They can also add the colour black to every meal – we count colours eaten at our place, 5 colours and you can leave the table; 6 and mummy sings a silly song; 7 gets rewarded with a treat!
    Fiona

  4. Great suggestions Dr. Nicole and Melissa. It seems if you only buys healthy foods, then they have the choice of this healthy food or that one.

    I love the suggestion of letting them help grow it or pick it. Any time you get someone more involved in the process then they are more willing to participate in every aspect including the end result.

    For those whose kids (or husbands) just will not eat vegies, then I highly suggest that book “Deceptively Delicious” where you steam, puree and add the vegies to their favorite foods and that have no idea it’s even there.

  5. […] another fun way to “Get more vegetables in to your kids diet” […]

  6. […] my article on “The Best Way to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables” I discussed the importance of allowing kids to grow their own […]

  7. hi please i want any medicine name to eat more food please give me

  8. […] your kids do it by “Planting an Organic Kids Garden,” and that teaching activity should help kids eat more veggies. Don’t forget to let some “Berries Run Wild” on your […]

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