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Bon Appetit! May 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.

IMGP3562bWant meal time to be a relaxed social gathering, rather than a battle to get your kids to eat their greens?  Here are a few tricks to have up your sleeve as you’re planning meals or putting dinner on the table . . .

(1) Offer choices:  Do you want broccoli or carrot sticks?  Would you like to try strawberries or raspberries?

(2) Involve them in shopping for food.


I know, I know.  Taking kids to the store slows down the process of  “getting in and getting out” but . . . the benefits can be enormous.

Instead of begging and cajoling at mealtimes to get them to try something new ~ give them more control over what ends up on their plate by asking them to pick out a new fruit or vegetable the next time they’re in the produce department with you.

(3)  Whenever something “new” shows up on the table ~ ask your kids to tell you what it is . . . “Mom, that’s easy.  It’s a carrot.”  Then, ask them to tell you anything they remember about carrots . . . “Bugs Bunny likes carrots!”  “Carrots are good for our eyes!”  “Carrots are orange.”

By the time they’re done sharing their wealth of knowledge with you, carrots will seem like a familiar friend . . . one that’s good enough to gobble up.

Tip:  Do a quick internet search to find FUN FACTS for any vegetable or fruit that is so unique and different that they are likely to be stumped.  Share what you’ve learned with them.

(4)  Give them permission to say “No, thank you.” . . . AFTER trying the first bite.  This encourages them to try everything once, knowing that they don’t have to pile up their plates with something that tastes “icky.”

(5)  Hand out the gold stars.  Prepare a simple sheet with your children’s names across the top:  Huey, Dewey, and Louie.  Down the side, list veggies and fruit as they are presented during the week:  Asparagus, Bananas, Broccoli, Carrots, Dill Pickles, Endive, Fennel, Guava . . . ”  Each time the kids try something on the list, give them a gold star (or a simple check mark) next to that item.

Let them compete against each other to see who gets the most stars each week or month.  And, if your budget permits, allow them to trade gold stars for “fabulous gifts and exciting prizes” ~ e.g., a $1 shopping spree at the Dollar Store.

Bon Appetit!

Related posts: Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs * Ten More Fun Activities for Kids


1. cindy - May 17, 2010

I hope a lot of parents get to read this post!

nrhatch - May 17, 2010

Fruits and veggies are so good for us . . . and they fill us up with healthy fiber (instead of empty calories). My parents exposed us to fruits and veggies at “every” meal. As a result, I love “most” fruits and veggies.

Everyone has taste preferences which is why its nice that there is so much variety in all the colors of the rainbow!

2. granny1947 - May 17, 2010

Some excellent advice there…however…am so glad I have no more kids at home!!!

nrhatch - May 17, 2010

Children are a joy be to around . . . as well as an on-going challenge. : D

3. Joanne - May 18, 2010

When my 13-year-old was small, all I had to do was start eating a big bowl of my favorite cut-up veggies in front of her… and I wouldn’t offer her any… I just chewed and smacked my lips and kept saying, “Mmmm, this is SOOO good…!” It wasn’t long before she started begging me to share… Of course, the more I hesitated, the more she wanted the veggies… PSYCHE…!!!

The problem is that she eventually outgrew that, and now when I offer her a choice of veggies, she says, “Pancake, please.” Kids will go through many phases before they start making choices that aren’t contrived by their elders…

I have done my best with the older ones. Now, I live the healthy life and don’t preach health foods to them… I show them that age has not slowed me down. On the contrary, I have more energy than all of them put together. Hopefully they’ll start to make the connection to my lifestyle and healthy choices.

4. nrhatch - May 18, 2010

You can lead a teen to veggies . . . but you cannot make them chew!

It’s much easier to start when they are small. : )

Glad that you are making healthy choices ~ I am satisfied that my health is improved as a result of my vegetarian lifestyle.

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