Help my child won’t eat vegetables! It can drive you to despair when your child refuses to eat and taste vegetables. Healthy eating for children is so hugely important! You’ve probably been given hundreds of tips and you already know it all. That you can let your kids help you cook, that kids should taste a flavor ten times before they like it, that you can make faces out of carrots and tomatoes. And then you have the cucumber crocodiles. Oh yes and that you should not force, make it cozy at the table, set a good example yourself and so on.
There are several ways to get kids to eat healthy:
Teach kids about nutrition and healthy eating
Teach children about healthy eating and why it is important to eat healthy food. There are several reasons why it is important for children to learn about nutrition. One of the most important reasons is to develop healthy eating habits. By learning about nutrition, children can understand how to make healthy choices for their bodies and health. In addition, they can become self-reliant by learning how to prepare and plan healthy and balanced meals.
Learning about nutrition also goes hand-in-hand with cultural appreciation. Children can discover how different cultures use and appreciate different foods, which opens them up to new tastes and experiences. Working together is also an important aspect of learning about nutrition. Children can learn by working together and helping to prepare meals and make healthy choices as a group.
In general, it is important to start learning about nutrition early because this will help them develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long run. It is important that children understand how nutrition can affect them and how to make conscious choices for their health and well-being.
Make healthy food appealing
Make healthy food attractive and palatable to children by serving it with colorful and attractive presentations. To make healthy food appealing to children, there are a number of steps that can be taken.
First, it is important to make healthy food fun. This can be done by adding fun elements to healthy meals and snacks, such as decorations, fruit charts, vegetable sculptures and the like. This makes healthy food more visually appealing and enticing to children.
Second, it is important to involve children in meal preparation. Children who are involved in making healthy food are more likely to eat it. It is important to put healthy food on the menu regularly and offer it in a way that connects with children’s perceptions.
Finally, it is important to educate children about healthy foods and their benefits. When children know why healthy foods are important, they are more likely to eat them. By following these steps, you can make healthy food more appealing to children and help them learn healthy eating habits.
Let kids help cook
Let children help prepare healthy meals, this can engage them in healthy eating and promote their eating habits. Children can play an active role in preparing healthy meals and learn about healthy eating at the same time. For example, they can help cut vegetables, weigh ingredients, make salad, clean and cut fruit and mix ingredients. By being involved in preparing meals, children will learn valuable skills and gain a greater appreciation for healthy eating.
Do not give certain foods as rewards
Do not use certain foods as rewards for children’s behavior; this can lead to unhealthy eating habits. It is better to give positive attention to your child’s healthy choices. You can also offer activities as rewards instead of candy, chips and cookies, such as extra playtime or an outing. It is important to encourage children to make healthy choices and develop their relationship with food in a positive way.
Offer healthy options
Offer children a variety of healthy snacks and meals and let them choose what they want to eat.
Be a good example with healthy eating
As a parent, it is important to eat healthy foods and demonstrate healthy eating habits yourself, this can have an impact on children’s eating habits.
To set a good example for children in eating healthy food, you can make healthy choices for your own food and show that you enjoy eating healthy. Try making new healthy dishes and let children help prepare them. Limit the number of unhealthy snacks and make sure you get lots of different healthy foods (eat pure as much as possible). Make even moments cozy and avoid distractions such as cell phones on the table or eating in front of the television. But with your kids about the food and judge it, even if the kids don’t always like it. Point out healthy building blocks for your body. By setting yourself as a good example and creating positive experiences around healthy eating, you can help children develop healthy eating habits.
Hiding healthy food for kids
These tips are all true. Yet they usually don’t help to actually get healthy food for kids into the kids. That’s why we’re going to help you hide vegetables in kid-friendly meals, so your offspring can still get some healthy vegetables in.
Healthy food for kids. What you need:
A hand blender and vegetables without pronounced flavor such as cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, carrot, pumpkin, peas and sweet potato. Spinach, tomato and other vegetables can also sometimes work if the color and texture are right. To sauces, you can add pureed legumes of the same color.
What are we going to do?
Cooking, mashing and hiding. The starting point is the food your child does like. To this you can slowly add vegetables. For example, does your child like pancakes? Then we will add vegetables in pancakes. Does your child only like bare rice? Then we will replace some of the rice with cauliflower rice. Does your child like pasta? Then we will experiment with different vegetables in pasta sauces. Does your child really only eat bread with chocolate spread? Then we will add vegetables to bread. All small changes are gains.
What will we pay attention to?
Flavors, textures and colors. When your child’s favorite meal is suddenly bright green instead of yellow, child is probably not going to eat it. When the meal is slightly more orange you stand a better chance, because it is less noticeable. Be creative. Don’t change taste and texture too much. Empathize with your child. Every success, no matter how small, literally tastes like more. If your creation is not a success, it is best to make the meal again as you always did before making another attempt.
Hiding vegetables in pasta sauce
If your child likes pasta with red pasta sauce, you are a blessed person. You can make a pasta sauce full of pureed vegetables twice a week. The important thing here is that you don’t change the color and texture too much. Does your child eat the pasta with the smooth red sauce but sets the pieces of vegetables aside? Then puree mostly red and orange vegetables through the sauce. Don’t use too many leeks and onions at the beginning, as this affects the taste and texture too much. For example, start with a little red bell bell pepper, carrot, pumpkin. Cook the vegetables well until soft and puree them as smoothly as possible.
Hide vegetables in pasta
Does your child eat only bare pasta? Then cook the pasta until tender in water with some pureed vegetables. Use vegetables that contain a lot of water such as zucchini, cucumber or tomato. Another tip is to boil and mash cauliflower and stir a little bit of this mixture into your pan of pasta. You then have pasta with an invisible vegetable sauce.
Hide vegetables in minced meat
You can add many different vegetables to minced meat. As long as you cook and puree the vegetables and don’t add too much, or your balls will fall apart. How about minced meat with a little mashed peas or lentils? Or minced meat with a little bit of pureed spinach? You add the vegetables to the still raw minced meat.
Hide vegetables in gravy
To gravy you can add a little bit of pureed brown beans. The texture will be slightly different, so do not use too much and, if necessary, strain the skins from the mixture.
Hide vegetables in rice
If your child likes cooked rice, you can try replacing a small portion of the rice with cauliflower rice. This is cauliflower grated into such small pieces that it has the same shape as rice. You can buy this cauliflower rice ready-made, or you can make it yourself. Make sure you do cook the cauliflower rice briefly so that it becomes at least as soft as rice.
Another tip is to boil and mash cauliflower and stir a little bit of this mixture into your pan of rice. You then have rice with an invisible vegetable sauce.
You can also cook the rice in water with pureed vegetables for healthy eating. Use vegetables that contain a lot of water such as zucchini, cucumber and tomato.
Hide vegetables in pancakes
Add a little pureed cauliflower or zucchini to your batter. If your child is already a bit more challenging when it comes to pancakes, you can make savory pancakes with cauliflower and cheese. You can find the recipe below this article.
Hide vegetables in spinach ala crème
A remarkable number of children do like spinach ala crème from the freezer. Deliciously fatty, salty and textureless. A first tip is to replace some of the spinach ala crème with finely chopped leaf spinach from the freezer. It will still be spinach but you can reduce the salt and fat. If you want to start hiding other vegetables in your spinach, you can use zucchini or peas. Don’t hide too much the first time.
Hide vegetables in soup
Does your child like some kind of soup but leaves the pieces of vegetables in the bowl? Then make your familiar recipe and add some pureed vegetables. When your child likes tomato soup or pumpkin soup, you are a happy person. Lots of vegetables can go into this.
Hide vegetables in fries
If your child likes fries you can try to make fries from sweet potato for example. Vegetable fries made from carrot, yellow carrot, celeriac and turnip are also available at the supermarket. Add the familiar sauce and who knows, your child may have some vegetables behind them again.
Hiding vegetables in food from packets
If your child likes food from a packet, you should probably make this packet with water. Replace some of this water with vegetable juice or pureed vegetables such as zucchini, or cucumber.
Hide vegetables in pizza crust
Does your child like pizza crust? Then use a pizza crust with 40 percent vegetables in the future. You can buy these ready-made at the supermarket these days in different flavors. We would start with the cauliflower or zucchini variety. You can also get creative and add your own vegetables to your homemade dough. Cauliflower is the easiest to start with.
Start slowly with hiding vegetables and build it up a little bit at a time so your child doesn’t find it gross right away.
Healthy eating – what to do when something succeeds.
Don’t cheer too loudly when something succeeds. Don’t explain to your child what he “fell for,” but make the recipe again a week later. Use vegetables your child (already) likes as a base. Get inspired and think further. The possibilities are endless if you are creative. Also consider hiding vegetables in bread, cakes and cookies. Don’t give up and don’t get too angry. In the end, you want to pass on to your child that food is good AND fun.
Simple cauliflower-cheese pancake recipe
100 grams cauliflower * 2 eggs * couple tablespoons grated cheese
Meal the raw cauliflower finely. The easiest way is a food processor, but a grater, hand blender or knife will do as well. Mix the cheese and eggs into this. Make small mounds of this “batter” in a frying pan and fry until tender. For the adults, a little pepper, parsley or hummus with it would be delicious, but the difficult eaters prefer without.
When this is a success you can, of course, start varying.
Not mentioned tips for products you can buy at the supermarket:
- Groot burger from the meat department
- Fish sticks with added vegetables from the freezer
- Courgetti. That’s zucchini in the form of Spaghetti.
Getting excited? Use the directory below to find where you can buy vegetables near you!”