Want Kids to Eat Veggies: Don’t Give Them a Choice
When someone tells me that their children do not eat fruit or vegetables, my first question out of my mouth is–do you? Many times, they would answer the question with a no.
In the age of fast food, and connivence, we sometimes forget that the best foods to offer our children is in the simplest forms. Potatoes do not have to be fried for a baby to eat it, they can eat it mashed, heck, they can even be oven fried. Both options are better for the kids.
My daughter will eat asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli…the list goes on and on. Not because I threaten her with time outs, or force her to finish her plate, it’s because she never had a choice. From day one, she was given fresh fruit and vegetables with every meal. Snack time, Banana, orange, grapes, strawberries. Whatever fruit I had on hand, I gave it to her. Because of these choices, she doesn’t think twice about trying these foods.
But there is a catch–I eat these foods too! How can we expect our children to eat better, live better if we’re not the leading examples in their lives. So you’re child only likes fruit and not vegetables, well there are some fruit out there that can work very well. No carrots–try apricots.
Too often parents try to live by the “do as I say, not as I do” rule, but the truth is, it has to be “do as I say, and as I do.” Children learn from their adults, they learn from you. So when they see that you turn to food when you’re sad, they’ll find comfort in the food too. When they see that there is nothing green (and I’m not referring to mold) in their refrigerator, they won’t look for it or eat it.
It’s up to us as parents to pave the way, let’s try our best to do better and be better everyday.