5 Clever Ways to Get Kids to Eat Their Greens

5 Clever Ways to Get Kids to Eat Their Greens

- in 2014 Editions, Food, June 2014, Magazine

Healthy Eating in Northeast OhioAs parents, we’ve all been there. You’ve picked out fresh broccoli, bell peppers or maybe something fun like spinach at the farmer’s market or your local growers. When you serve it to your child you’re greeted to a chorus of “I’m not going to eat that!” or “I don’t like (this or that vegetable).”

Convincing kids to eat their greens can be a challenge. It’s worth the effort to get your child in the habit of eating — and even liking — good-for-them foods. These tips can help.

Keep it handy. The more your child sees produce, the more familiar it becomes — and the more their curiosity may kick in so they’re willing to give it a try. Place your vegetables right on the counter where they’re visible. Mix in cucumbers, zucchini or others with your child’s favorite fruits, such as apples and oranges, instead of stowing them away in your refrigerator’s produce drawer.

Blend it in. Steam cauliflower and blend it with mashed potatoes or into the sauce for macaroni and cheese. Blend spinach or kale into fruit smoothies. Most kids don’t even notice the difference.

Cook it in new ways. Lyn Trier’s son Grant, 6, loves kohlrabi, beets and other vegetables that many kids shy away from sampling. Trier, a customer service specialist for Fresh Fork Market in Cleveland, a community-supported agriculture business, says she offers her kids new vegetables in various ways. She might introduce a vegetable, like kohlrabi, by grilling it, which brings out its natural sweetness and is familiar to her son. Once he gets more used to the flavor, Trier prepares it differently, such as roasted.

Find a veggie idol. Point out to your kids that to become strong like their favorite athlete, they need to eat their vegetables. Reinforce when they eat vegetables their bodies are gaining the nutrients needed to stay in shape and to feel energized.

Go back to the ­beginning. Let your kids be “picky” — at the farm. Visit a u-pick produce farm with your kids. They’ll be more likely to eat vegetables if they choose them right out of the ground.

For tips on how to purchase fresh produce while still saving money, read on here. 

For the perfect recipe for an ‘All Green Smoothie,’ click here.

The dos and don’ts of making a successful green smoothie are here.

About the author

I’m a freelance writer, recipe developer, and—most importantly—mother of three. My work has appeared in KIWI, Parenting, Parents, Relish, USAA Magazine, BabyZone.com, BettyConfidential.com, and Yahoo Shine!. I’m currently a contributing editor for MetroParent magazine, the regional parenting publication of the greater Detroit area.

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