There’s so much talk about childhood obesity, chronic diseases and behavior issues happening in the schools, in the communities and in the homes. Do you think the problem is that we must get the kids to eat more Fruits and Vegetables? We know that is far from the solution and can really be part of the problem. There are very few kids that won’t eat at least some fruit because it’s sweet! And if it’s a starchy vegetable like carrots, potatoes or corn you’ll likely be able to get a few bites of those into their bellies.
You can get them to at least take a couple of swallows of apple juice or orange juice because it’s sweet! You can tell a kid all about the antioxidants and the other healthful things about fruit. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s sweet they will at least try it. At The Children’s Coach, we think we need to promote more vegetables than fruit and not by sneaking them in! We believe you should tell kids the truth when it comes to food and everything else really, but that’s another blog post!
Ask them if they would like to have some fun helping or even cooking (dependent upon age) their own vegetables!! We can almost guarantee the atmosphere will change once that is suggested! Make sure they have their own apron. You can make a quick and easy one by using an old tee shirt and cutting…….well, you’ll have to keep following our blog if you want to know what to do next with that tee shirt. ( Pretty SNEAKY trick wasn’t it?) We promise you won’t be disappointed and maybe even a little surprised! Getting back to the cooking part. Allow the child to select a vegetable they would like to try. (Hint with the little bitty cooks) Potatoes always do the trick if you play “hot potato” with oven mitts too big for their little hands and a funny looking kitchen timer! For the older ones find a recipe that’s pretty quick and being a popular food won’t hurt a bit either! Try homemade Chili Cheese Fries!! Use this healthier twist and they’ll still eat them. To start out go ahead and use a package of frozen fries but, bake them in the oven instead of frying them and top them with some cooked ground turkey or chicken, a can of vegetarian baked beans, chili seasoning and 2 or 3 tablespoons of Ketchup (No added Fructose Sugar of course!) Remember if it’s a little sweet they ‘ll at least try it.
Make a big deal out of it because it is a really big deal! They will have the experience of learning how to do something they will never forget! The thing they will remember is how they felt when they peeled that carrot or washed potatoes with a potato scrubber. They will surely remember the look on your face when you present whatever they cooked to the rest of the family or even tell your friends and family near and far that your sweet little boy or girl mashed their own potatoes for dinner!
Make a big deal out of it because vegetables being scrubbed and cooked and served by a child who said once upon a time ,”they Hated All Vegetables and would never eat them if you cooked them”, but they never said they wouldn’t eat them if they cooked them and you made a really big deal out of it, because it really is a really big deal!
So what’s your thoughts about making a really big deal out of vegetables instead of fruit now?