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Eat Your Veggies! 

7 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Theirs

Kids have a reputation for not wanting to eat their fruits and vegetables, and can you blame them? Admit it, you probably didn’t like them either as a child. But as a parent, you know how important it is to eat healthy foods. And there are ways to help your kids get the nutrition they need. Here are seven ideas:
  1. Eat your veggies. It’s no secret that kids like to imitate adults. So the first step toward getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables is to eat yours. Be a role model and set a positive example—your kids will follow suit.
  2. Take them shopping. Let your children each pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try. Or, make selecting produce a game by picking one fruit or vegetable for each color of the rainbow or a few letters from the alphabet.
  3. Make it easy. Kids and teens are more likely to reach for snacks that are convenient over nutritious. Fortunately, healthy snacks can be both. Always have sliced fruit and vegetables—such as baby carrots or grapes—prepackaged so that kids can grab right from the fridge and go.
  4. Have them help. Inviting children to help with meal preparation allows you the opportunity to discuss healthy eating and also makes them more invested in the meal. Assign age-appropriate tasks, such as washing vegetables or snapping green beans for young children and chopping ingredients or stirring sauces for older kids.
  5. Stock the salad bar. Children like to feel as if they are in control or at least have a say in what they do. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need direction. Instead of forcing a prepared salad on them that they’ll resist eating, set up a salad bar so they can choose their own ingredients. And if they want to load up on green pepper but snub the radish, let them. Just be careful when it comes to croutons and dressing. Portion out these items ahead of time—one serving for each family member.
  6. Make fruit and vegetables the star. Instead of merely incorporating fruit and vegetables into meals, why not make them the meal? Try dishes like fruit gazpacho, stuffed green peppers and build-your-own baked potatoes.
  7. Or, sneak them in. Not matter what you do, some kids still will refuse to eat some fruits and vegetables. That’s when it’s time to work them into meals on the sly. For example, add finely chopped onions and bell peppers to spaghetti sauce or meatloaf,  pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes, and shredded carrots or zucchini into baked good recipes.