We all know that vegetables are a very important part of our diet. The vitamins contained in them affect the development of the child’s body and provide it with the ingredients necessary for its proper functioning. However, it cannot be denied that preschoolers are often not in favor of eating vegetables. So what can we do to make it easier for them to persuade them? Below is a list of a few tips that you can consider when you want to slightly expand your child’s diet
- Eat your own vegetables – children imitate adults in everything. Thanks to this, they know how to behave in society. They also look at what their parents or teachers are eating. So, if you don’t like vegetables yourself, it can be difficult to convince your child to eat them. It is much easier to show your attitude that vegetables are tasty.
- Encourage your child to cook together – vegetables can be eaten both raw and cooked. So, together with the child, we can prepare creative meals or some interesting dishes in which they will play the main role. It may turn out that it will be easier for a child to taste something he has prepared on his own.
- Set up a vegetable garden – it doesn’t have to be huge. Sometimes it is enough to plant a few vegetables in the pots. At the very beginning, it is worth going shopping together with the child and deciding what vegetables we would like to grow. Then, we prepare the necessary materials, plant bulbs or sow seeds. In all this, the child’s task may be to ensure that the plants always have water or the right amount of sun. So, when the first effects appear, it may turn out that the child will be so proud of it that he will not only want to show off to other household members, but also take part in tasting the vegetables he has grown on his own.
- Tasty snacks are the key to success? – it turns out that this may be the case. Instead of rice wafers or nuts, it is worth preparing, for example, vegetable skewers or finger foods for afternoon tea. Children are definitely eager to try things that are aesthetically and interestingly prepared. So you can watch a movie / fairy tale or prepare sweet potato fries or carrot sticks with honey as a break in the game. It is worth letting the child get dirty with food so that he has the opportunity to experience various stimuli and gain new tactile experiences.
- Play with vegetables – sometimes it turns out that one possibility of introducing changes in the child’s nutrition is to gradually familiarize him with these types of ingredients. Therefore, you can propose kneading the previously cooked vegetables together or preparing edible plastic masses such as beetroot or carrotcoline. Interesting games with their use can be found on the blog run by Aleksandra Charezińska (https://www.charezinska.pl/)
So, it is very clear that diversifying the diet with vegetables is not the easiest task for parents. It requires enormous amounts of patience and creativity. Remember not to force the child to eat and not to use arguments such as: “If you eat a carrot, you will get a candy bar.” For the child then eats the vegetable only for the reward that awaits him. This is the kind of pressure that a preschooler may not be able to deal with. It is much better to present vegetables as a very attractive snack and show that you can reach for it at any time J
So, let’s go!!! I encourage you to start a vegetable adventure in your home J
Sensory integration therapist
Deputy director for pedagogical matters