As a busy moms, we always wish our kids ate more fruits and veggies, but at the end of the day it can seem like a fight. As a mom of 2, I know the battle all too well. My son adopted my eating habits - which happened to be an addiction to McDonalds and anything else greasy, salty and sugary. He used to look at me in his high chair and literally dump his plate all over the floor EVERY NIGHT for months if it had vegetables on it.
I felt like I was never going to get this kid to eat vegetables. My daughter on the other hand, was somehow born to be an eater. The good thing is that she doesn’t gripe about eating healthy things as long as her certain NO GO vegetables aren’t in question (i.e. asparagus).
However, our family started a health journey 1 & 1/2 yrs ago and I had to figure out a way to get my kid to eat. In researching into health and nutrition, I found that childhood obesity and diabetes is on the rise, more and more kids are eating junk food over fruits and veggies. And this was happening in my own house too - so we decided to change it.
As a family, we adopted a whole food plant-based diet and feel amazing! It wasn’t without it’s ups and downs though. So, through my trial and error here are my top 3 tips for how to get your kids to eat more fruits veggies
1. Involve them in the process - take them to the grocery store, let them pick things out, let them count how many you need and bag up the fruits and veggies in the produce aisle. Kids LOVE being involved and it’s a great way to teach them about how to pick fruit & veggies, what ripe means, etc (Mom-life hack*: if you have more that 1 child - depending on the age, split them up. This gives them better concentration on learning and helping vs being distracted by a sibling - take turns each week)
2. Make it fun in the kitchen - this again is something that most kids nowadays don’t do - help cook dinner. Most kids nowadays have their face stuck into some screen and if they are anything like mine - watching kids Youtube. Have them take a break from having their eyeballs glued to their devices and help chop up fruit & veggies in the kitchen. This can even be done as soon as you get home from the store so you can prepare them for the week and they are easier to grab when kiddos want snacks - which is ALL THE TIME. (Mom-life hack*: again - if you have more than 1 kiddo - trying splitting them up if you only have 1 adult. This way it’s easier for you to keep an eye on what they are doing. ALSO - I recommend getting some plastic knives for this so your kiddos can be safe. My daughter has the ______ set that she got for Xmas and she loves it and I don’t have to worry about her cutting any fingers off).
3. Don’t be a short order cook - this is one Mom-Life Hack that I stuck to and it felt like it saved me. I made the rule that what is for dinner is what is for dinner - if you don’t like it you are more than welcome to go to bed. Period. Have there been nights where my son went to bed without eating dinner? Yes. Is he starving? No. REAL LIFE TRUTH - kids won’t starve themselves. They will eat. *PLUS* if you make them a part of the process they are more excited to eat what’s for dinner because they helped. Kids LOVE helping. Stay firm - it pays off in the end.
Try these tips out next time you are headed to the grocery story with your kids and watch them fill their bellies with nutritious fruits and vegetables with amazement. It might take a little extra effort in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it. Once they have the hang of it, you have an extra set of hands in the kitchen to help. Remember, you are a warrior.
Real advice for real people because this is real life, people.
P.S. If you liked this and want more tips like this - make sure you like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Right now, I am doing a 12-week whole-food plant based challenge with my hubby and kids and I'll will be sharing tips, tools and kid approved recipes plus the mindset around eating healthier!