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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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How to Make Kids Eat Veggies and Love It


By Martha Sanders


Many of my friends tell me that I'm blessed with a kid who eat his vegetables. To be very honest, it was a bit of an uphill struggle to coax my picky eater touch his greens, let alone eating the smallest spoonful of spinach. It drove me crazy; meal times were constant battlefields, the crying and screaming cycles began, it was absolute madness! However, vegetables and fruits need to be introduced as a normal part of life, and with a little patience and deception, I finally got there.


How to Get Picky Eaters Love Vegetables

1. Most kids will turn their noses at the sight of anything green. Blending vegetables in gravies or puree them in sauces will ensure your kid eat vegetables. You can add some finely chopped fruits to gelatin salads, add some pureed sweet peas to guacamole, and serve tiny vegetables, like baby carrots and baby corn, with appetizer dips.



2. Substitute lettuce leaves for tortillas in your favorite taco recipe. Prepare meat, cheese, chopped tomato and shredded lettuce as you normally would, then tuck vegetables inside a couple lettuce leaves for a healthful alternative to taco shells or tortillas. Choose red leaf, green leaf and romaine varieties of lettuce as they have more nutrients than iceberg. Iceberg has mostly water.



3. Many kids eat pasta readily, you may want try your luck with Raviolis stuffed with vegetables. Make your own pasta out of veggies with a spiral slicer or  make veggie burgers for dinner.



4. Steamed or microwaved vegetables retain more flavour as well as nutrients than boiling. And, many kids including my own enjoy veggies more when steamed.



5. Don't overcook or under-cook vegetables. Undercooked vegetables leave a bitter aftertaste and that's probably why kids refuse to eat them in the first place. Although babies need mushy textured foods, older kids may actually prefer a little more bite and like their veggies as finger foods. One idea is, to cut some fresh veggies into little chunks and serve them as snacks (in a tray) for all the family members. Set out individual cups of dipping sauce. Kids just love dips!



6. Sprinkle a tiny bit of brown sugar on cooked vegetables. It instantly sweetens and softens the flavor but do not destroy young teeth. Brown sugar is much healthier than cane sugar, and the extra sweetness might be just what your kids need to encourage vegetables eating. This trick works great on carrots and peas.



7. Feed your kids raw veggies as snacks while they watch television. As they're so engrossed in watching, they'll eat whatever is fed to them. Ditch snack foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar; offer kids fruits, or other fiber-rich homemade snacks – have cookies and other sugar-coated treats for occasional treats or special occasions.



8. Mix vegetables in your kid's favorite meal. If he likes mac and cheese, by all means prepare it, but with broccoli or peas sneaked in. If he likes spaghetti, then add in real fresh tomatoes, mushrooms or carrots and so in in the sauce. Camouflage by chopping up and mixing veggies in pasta, stews or even omelet. Melting a bit of cheese on top of broccoli, cauliflower and many other vegetables usually does the trick for me.



9. Have fun with fondues. Sweet fruits like strawberries, cherries, bananas, apples, pineapple or dried apricots make good chocolate dippers, while carrots, celery, green pepper sticks, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower go great with cheese fondue.



10. Make mashed sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Kids gravitates towards sweet stuff and moreover, sweet potatoes contain lots of Vitamin A which is essential for healthy vision.



11. Don't send your toddler a roller coaster sugar “high”. Instead add pumpkins, zucchinis or shredded carrots to muffin mix or any bread recipe. Puree corn and stir that into corn muffin batter, or make apple cake or pumpkin cheesecake. When it's sweet, kids can hardly tell the difference!



12. Create artwork out of veggies! I make it a point to make vegetables look interesting. One nifty idea is to use cookie cutters to cut out cute little flowers and stars from root vegetables such as carrots. Keep in mind that kids love colorful choices, not a pile of boring greens!



13. Use orange slices, a sprig of fresh herbs or a carved radish for attractive visual appeal, and kids can eat their decoration too. Now sit back and watch the magic!!






how to make kids eat veggies

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