It’s never felt more important to make sure our kids have a healthy diet, but according to the CDD only 1 kid in 10 is eating enough vegetables. In honor of back to school week, we’re sharing six simple tips that can help turn even picky kids into veggie lovers.
1. A Bakers Dozen: It can take a dozen or more exposures to a new food before a child decides they like it. Don’t get discouraged if your kids don’t like something; just keep encouraging them to try it.
2. Nugget No No’s: Common advice tells us that we can get kids to eat more veggies by pairing them with other foods kids love – like chicken nuggets. In a study of over 8,500 children, the researchers at Texas A&M found the opposite to be true. Replace a burger with a deli slider or nuggets with a baked potato and kids will eat more of the veggies served alongside it.
3. The Eyes Have It: Just like adults, kids eat with their eyes first. That doesn’t mean we have to spend hours creating works of lunchbox art, but do think about how the food looks and find ways to keep it fun. Using cookie cutters can be a great way to add fun without a lot of fuss.
4. Hands on Helpers: According to WebMD, kids are more likely to eat food they help cook. Depending on their age, kids can help wash, slice, and even cook their food. They can pick out a recipe to try and help with meal planning and shopping too.
5. Play with Your Food: Kids love eating food they can interact with. Try slicing up veggies and fruit to serve with a yummy dip, letting kids top their own mini pizza with veggies, or planting a broccoli forest in their mashed potatoes.
6. Farm to Table: Our favorite tip came from the smart folks over at Pathways, with a great reminder that we need to teach our children where their food comes from. Visiting a farm or a farmer’s market (in person or online), planting a garden, or having a produce box delivered right from the farm can all create interest and excitement around cooking and eating veggies.
We would love to see pictures of you in the kitchen with your family. Tag us @DeLoachFarms (Instagram) or @DeLoachFarmsProduce (Facebook).