Persuading children to eat more fruit and vegetables

Making mealtimes playful can mean healthier eating for your kids. Here are some fun, creative ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your child’s diet:

Top a bowl of whole grain cereal with a smiley face: banana slices for eyes, raisins for nose, peach or apple slice for mouth.
Create a food collage. Use broccoli florets for trees, carrots and celery for flowers, cauliflower for clouds, and a yellow squash for a sun. Then eat your masterpiece!
Make frozen fruit kabobs for kids using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
Go food shopping with your children. Let them see all the different fruits and vegetables and have them pick out new ones to try.
Try fruit smoothies for a quick healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.
Add vegetables and fruits to baked goods – blueberry pancakes, zucchini bread, carrot muffins.
Add extra veggies to soups, stews, and sauces, grated or shredded to make them blend in.
Keep lots of fresh fruit and veggies washed and available as snacks. Apples, pears, bananas, grapes, figs, carrot and celery sticks are all easy to eat on the run. Add yogurt, nut butter, or tahini for extra protein.

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I like the old traditions (back when families actually ate meals together) where the eldest were served first, then the "middle aged’, then the children.
The children got hungrier as they watched the elders compliment the cook and the food.

Usually when a child rejects a particular food, it’s because they saw someone else express negativity towards it…

“I don’t eat rabbit food.”
“That’s not what real men eat.”
“Salads are women’s food.”
“Give me real meat.”
“You won’t get big and strong eating that stuff!”
“I don’t like vegetables.”

Of course kids also see and hear this kind of stuff on TV, billboards, from teachers, etc. So make sure your kids see people enjoying healthy food and complementing the cook on the delicious veggies, etc.