You want to keep your children healthy. You know that they should be eating more of the healthy foods in life, and less of the high-fat, sugar laden foods, so available to children. What should you do? First, you should take a relaxed attitude towards your children’s eating. Getting to the dinner table, and arguing about eating vegetables, never works. Making a child sit at a table after dinner is over, because s/he will not eat vegetables, is a definite way for a child to continue to hate vegetables.
The truth is, vegetables taste bitter to a lot of children. Their tastes will change later, and most children eventually start to enjoy vegetables as they get older. In the meantime, put vegetables in the cooked meals.. For instance, throw vegetables into spaghetti, into casseroles, and as a glazed side dish. Cooked vegetables are less bitter, and easier to digest. If a child still hates vegetables, do not force the issue. Power struggling over food,is a losing battle for all sides.
Fruits, have many of the same nutritional qualities, as vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. If a child hates vegetables, give fruit as snacks, instead. Perhaps your child refuses fruit with cereal in the morning, but by playtime, a dish of cut up fruits is welcome. Bring fruit when you take your children to the park, to the store and on a car ride. Instead of giving your child candy and cookies at snack time, bring out the fruit.
A child may like bananas for two weeks, then refuse bananas on the third week. This change in taste is common. Again, do not make an issue of food. Cut up strawberries instead, or dice some apples. The key to getting children to eat healthy food, is to have it available, and stay calm. Children will always hate what they are forced to eat. It is better to steer away from forced eating. Keep offering healthy fruits. If your child goes through a period of refusing to eat them, especially after a birthday party or holiday fair, where sugar was the main delight, give out fruit juice instead
Children will not die if they do not eat vegetables at dinner. If they have eaten balanced meals, with fruit as snacks, and they have drunk lots of water, your children will grow up happy and healthy. Stepping back, and letting your children develop a taste for the good things in life, is the kindest and wisest way, to teach children to enjoy healthy eating.
There will be a day, when your children are grown, and eating large salads and huge amounts of vegetables at dinner. They will be looking at their own children with worried expressions, wishing they could get their children to eat vegetables. They will remember how they hated vegetables. They will remember how their parents were wise, and did not force them to eat them. They will remember how they grew up healthy, in spite of hating vegetables.