The holidays are fast approaching, and with them, a veritable smorgasbord of seasonal treats for your kids to enjoy. All things are fine in moderation, but it’s also a great time of year to take a bite in a healthy direction and incorporate more vegetables into your children’s diets.
The Health Benefits of Vegetables
Vegetarian diets are proven to be high in vitamins A, B2, C, and E, beta-carotene, calcium, and folate. Among other health benefits, vitamin C and beta-carotene promote a healthy heart by helping to reduce plaque buildup in the arteries. Studies show that those who follow a high-veggie diet experience overall lower incidences of cancer diagnoses, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
A majority of children don’t consume the recommended 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day, but it’s easier than you think to encourage your kids to enjoy a healthy, veggie-rich diet.
How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables
We know many children fall in the “picky eaters” category, with vegetables being enemy number one. Follow these tips, and you’ll have your pickiest little one reaching their veggie consumption goal in no time.
Encourage and Explore
Maintaining a positive, persistent attitude is key to encouraging your child to try vegetables. Allow your children the freedom to taste different produce items—encouraging them to eat their vegetables is easy when you find one (or hopefully more) that they actually enjoy!
In addition, keep in mind that your child’s tastes may change as they get older. You may be able to reintroduce them to a previously disliked vegetable and get more positive results.
Browse Cookbooks and Recipes
Check out vegetarian cookbooks or scroll through online vegetable recipes to gauge your child’s taste preferences and allow them to choose meals they’re interested in. Young children naturally want to help out, so giving them a small role in the kitchen while you’re preparing dinner can help them get invested in and excited about the meal.
Make Shopping Fun
Bring vegetables to life! Build anticipation by selecting a shopping day, keeping a countdown, and making the day special. While browsing aisles, build their interest by having your child handle the produce and discuss their thoughts. Ask them questions to spark their curiosity: what do they think it tastes like? Does it look like any other vegetable they’re familiar with?
Once they’ve become well-versed in veggies, challenge them to choose the one (or ones) you’ll incorporate into their dinner.
Participate in Meatless Monday
Join the global movement to maintain your healthy diet and support the environment, climate, and human and animal welfare: “once a week, cut out meat.” Get started with mindful eating with kid-approved, healthy Meatless Monday meals.
Veggie-Rich Recipes for Kids
Now, it’s time to taste the rainbow! Enjoy family-friendly meals packed with vegetables with these healthy kids’ recipes. Add your choice of protein and help your children get the vital nutrients they need.
Rainbow Pizza: Enjoy quality family time making this colorful at-home pizza. The recipe doesn’t skimp on fresh, healthy flavors and encourages kids to “eat the rainbow” each meal.
Three-Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Keep warm this fall with seasonal, vegetable-packed mac ‘n’ cheese. Even the pickiest eater will approve of this nutritious yet cheesy dish.
Tofu Stir Fry: This healthy meal is sure to become one of your children’s favorites! Engage your kids by including them in the meal prep.
Prioritize Your Child’s Health with Specialized Health and Safety
At Specialized Health and Safety Management, we offer a variety of on-site and blended training classes to help you protect your children. From infant CPR to pediatric first aid, our instructors will help you learn important life-saving skills. Visit our blog for more articles on childhood health and safety, or sign up for a class time online.