Getting Kids To Eat Vegetables

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting your kids to eat vegetables might be as simple as giving them more?

A new article title "The Trick to Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables" by Jeannine Stein tracked children's eating habits in a daycare. The data showed that giving double the amount of carrots increased the amount of carrots that children ate.

My Take: Good ways to get your child(ren) interested in vegetables depend on you modeling behavior by munching yourself and leaving out vegetables for your kids to munch.

My Daycare: Kids like ranch. Luckily, ranch comes in light and free varieties. I serve a spinach salad to my daycare kids around twice a week. Amazingly enough, they like fresh spinach more than they like romaine lettuce. The children in my care do eat the spinach, but sometimes I have to use more creative ways of making it cool (especially if I'm serving it with chicken nuggets). At times, I serve a salad first before the rest of the meal. This makes it like when Mommy and Daddy go out to a restaurant, so the kids like that. They always eat more salad when I serve it first. Linking to the article, I only have to serve a total of 1/4cup of vegetable/fruit for lunch to my 2-year-olds. I serve at least 1/4 cup each of a vegetable and fruit for lunch. I also make sure that I always serve both a vegetable and fruit; I never serve two fruits. It's been a slow process with some of my daycare children as to eating their vegetables, but yesterday all of them ate all their green beans.

My Vegetable Experience: I'm very big into getting my daughter to eat vegetables because I was a horrible eater. Before marrying my husband, I ate carrots and broccoli and hated peppers. Now, we eat peppers with almost every meal and green beans frequently. We even planted a garden this year. I try to model vegetable eating with my daughter, and it's working. I'll cut up a pepper to munch on throughout the day, and she'll come ask for some of it. The most amazing part--my daughter just turned 1 and has no teeth! Yet, she loves peppers. I give her really small pieces, and she gobbles them! Can anyone tell me how she can eat so well with no teeth? That's a bigger mystery to me than getting her to eat vegetables!

For the article, which was published in the May 1st issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, click on this link:



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