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Trick & Treat

Posted on 8.10.2015

As adults, even some of us find it difficult to eat vegetables because they’re not always very pleasing to the human palate. Imagine the kids! They’d pull any kinds of tricks from spitting out their greens, throwing tantrums to even acting as if they’re falling asleep at the dinner table. Most parents are still trying to uncover the secrets to getting their kids to eat vegetables. Although it’s not rocket science, it’s not been an easy task to persuade children to eat their greens – it requires a whole lot of patience and a couple of tricks up your sleeves. 

Here’s a guide on what you can do to make your child eat more vegetables. 

Children see, children do. So, if your child sees you pushing aside vegetables, he or she is likely to do the same. Also, never mention that you dislike eating vegetables in front them. Instead, set a good example by eating your vegetables and encourage them to eat more vegetables. 

According to a research, carrots, peas, cucumber, corn and broccoli are some of the vegetables that are most popular with children; cabbage, spinach and bitter gourd are their least favourite. 

Cook and serve more vegetables at home. 

Chop vegetables up into tiny bits and pieces and add them into soups. 

Serve a plate of raw vegetables or a cold salad with dressing or a tasty dip before the main meal is served – the time when your child is hungriest. 

Store a bowl of cherry tomatoes or baby carrots in the refrigerator and serve them as snacks. Cut them into smaller pieces so that it’s easy for them to chew. 

Prepare meals together – for example, a simple pizza topped with tomatoes and mushrooms (recipe available at www.maggi.com.my). Get them involved in the food preparation – they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created.

When shopping for groceries, get your child to help pick vegetables. 

Children have a phobia towards new types of food. Take your time to slowly introduce new foods as their taste buds will take time to adapt to the flavours. Don’t force your child to eat their vegetables – they will only resist. 

If you have very young children, a little hero worship might just work. Tell them a story about how Captain America (or your children’s favourite character) ate his vegetables and became the strong superhero he is today. 

Don’t get upset if your child doesn’t eat their vegetables. It takes time. 

If you succeed in getting your child to eat their vegetables, you can always reward them but never bribe them. What’s the difference? 

If your child is struggling to finish up the vegetables on their plate and starts throwing tantrums in the midst of it, never offer them something on the spot to get them to finish up their food. That’s a form of bribing. They’re going to pick up that trick and pull it against you all the time. 

What you can do is to reward them for their good behaviour. Whenever they eat up their vegetables without causing a fuss, give them a little treat like a glass of fresh fruit juice for instance. Make it a rewarding experience, an accomplishment they can be proud of. 

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