How to make children eat their vegetables

By Sonakshi Kandhari

August 12, 2022

Juice it up 

Steer clear of the canned tetra packs available in stores and make juices yourself. Toss in veggies, fruits or a combination of both and blend it into a juice. Stick to it as a routine, and before you realise it, they will grow to love it and get their daily dose of nutrition. Even the veggies which toddlers find distasteful can be served in this way.

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Grocery shopping

When your child notices the colourful veggies, it gives you an opportunity to provide them with information about their benefits. Knowing how each vegetable benefits us could be a reason enough to start eating it. It is also an appropriate time to highlight the importance of a balanced diet.

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Cook together

Include your child in menu planning and meal preparation. There are age-appropriate activities that they could help you with, such as washing the vegetables, sorting and handing them out to you. These exercises help them get the feel of the colour, texture and smell of a particular vegetable.

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Inspire your child 

There are various nursery rhymes or bedtime stories that promote healthy eating. So the next time your toddler refuses to eat a particular vegetable, you can reinforce the particular story or rhyme that is their favourite. It works wonders in changing how they perceive certain food.

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There’s a lot that you could experiment with here because when a child likes what they see on the plate, they are most likely going to eat it. Cutting out veggies in unique shapes, perhaps a star, bunny or a rainbow, will be appealing to them. You could also flavour it up with a few drops of lemon juice and sprinkle herbs and spices.

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Presentation is key

Enhance the taste

Butter, cheese or even bread are additions that make vegetables taste agreeable to a child’s taste buds. Even if that fails to do the trick, look up and experiment with recipes to give the veggies a whole new twist. Who knows, you could find a recipe that helps your child get acquainted with a vegetable they wouldn’t touch otherwise.

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Lead by example

Since a child loves to mimic their parents, it provides a great opportunity to introduce them to vegetables. As they see you eat the veggies, coax them to follow suit and try a bite for a taste. Don’t get disheartened if your request is met with a firm ‘no.’ Be patient and keep trying because in the end they will understand and comply.

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Veggies first

If you serve both main course and veggies together, a hungry child may not prefer the latter. But if you serve the vegetables first, they will spontaneously eat them. There might be initial resistance, but your child will eventually try the vegetables if they see them regularly.

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