Get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies!

By Pharmacy Advantage RX

September is Fruits &family-parx Veggies — More Matters month. A month focused on getting your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Some kids are a lot pickier than others, so getting them to eat better can be a challenge.  But with some persistence and a lot of patience, you can teach your children that eating fruits and vegetables can be fun and taste good too!  Here are some tips to get you started.

Do as you say — Kids are smart and if they see that mom and dad aren’t eating the dreaded green beans, they aren’t going to understand why they can’t pass on them as well.  Include fruits and vegetables in every meal and make sure you are eating them so your kids will see that it’s just part of the meal.

Make it fun! — Some vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower can be intimidating.  But if you are eating little trees, especially if they are dipped in cheese, it’s now a game that encourages more eating.  Arrange the food into a smiley face or cut the fruit into fun shapes to promote a little playtime before they are eaten will make your battle a lot easier.

Take one bite — Kids often turn down food that they have never tried before just on principle or because it’s new and they are afraid to try it.  Make a rule that, no matter how many times it is served and turned down, they still have to take one bite.  This will get them over the initial fear of new food and will also give them time to adjust and realize that they just might like that banana after all!

More cooks the merrier! 
— Your child is going to be more open to trying new fruits and veggies if they are involved in the preparation of dinner.  Take them grocery shopping with you and let them pick out the carrots.  Have them snap the green beans for dinner.  If they are older, let them help cut up the apples for snack.  They will start to take ownership of the food they are preparing and will be more open to eating what they made.

Know your audience — Telling your 4-year old that he or she needs to eat their veggies to be healthy isn’t going to mean anything to them. At that age, they don’t have any concept of what “healthy” means.  Instead, tell them that they need to eat that corn to grow up big and strong like their favorite super hero or princess and they will have a better understanding of why they should eat it.

Above all else, stick with it. In the beginning, it’s going to be an uphill battle, especially for the really stubborn children.  But your consistency and patience will pay off and your kids will be eating healthy meals before you know it!