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Help! My Kid Won’t Eat Vegetables!
“The choices you make concerning what you feed your children will affect every single area of their lives. It will affect how they feel, how much energy, strength and brain power they have, how they look and whether they will age with vitality or not.” The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Healthy Kids by Meredith Deasley
Vegetables contain minerals; minerals make enzymes and enzymes are needed for the proper digestion of food. If food cannot be digested, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and used by the body. If your child won’t eat vegetables, they will lack the nutrients their bodies need to fight illness, learn properly, feel calm, treat others with kindness and fulfill their purpose here on Earth.
Many years ago, a man, who knew I was a nutritionist, told me he had recently set up an appointment for his son to see the doctor because his son wouldn’t eat vegetables. I knew this man was trying to convince me to use his company to publish my first book and that he had made all this up as a way to “bond’’ with me 😉 Who takes their child to the doctor for this purpose?
I explained that there is only ever one reason that children won’t eat vegetables – they have not been around others eating vegetables. No other relationship sets the tone for the life experience of each individual more powerfully than the relationship between parent and child. If a parent sets the example of regularly eating vegetables, so will their child.
Now if a parent makes a lot of fanfare about eating those vegetables or talks incessantly about the importance of doing so, this could backfire! Most children don’t have a lot of control in their lives. If they know their parent really wants them to eat vegetables, a child who is not given a lot of choices, might refuse to comply, simply as a way to exert control!
Here are 10 unique ideas to get your child to eat vegetables more often:
- As soon as your child walks in the door, have a vegetable platter on the table in the first room they enter. This is often when they are the hungriest! The platter might include red, yellow and orange peppers, raw sweet potato (yes!), green beans, snow peas, and heirloom (orange, purple and white) carrots.
- Provide unique and tasty dips to go with the vegetables you serve! You can use Earth Island Vegan Ranch or Caesar salad dressing, almond butter, sun butter, or melted Earth Island cheese (contains no dairy).
- Have a surprise picnic on your family room or bedroom floor (not kidding!). Your child will likely be so excited, they will eat almost anything you serve them.
- Plant or visit a garden this summer and have your child pick and eat the produce from it.
- Take your child to the grocery store with you and have them choose the vegetables to take home with you and eat.
- Involve your child in the cooking of the vegetables they have picked from the garden or chosen. Give them their own apron or chef hat and play their favourite music in the kitchen, while the two of you prepare your feast!
- Have your child choose a recipe book or an online recipe with pictures of smoothies and help them follow the simple steps to making one delicious concoction after another. Just having one fruit in a blender filled with vegetables will sweeten things up!
- Have your child sample green drinks at the health store or purchase sample packets to bring home.
- Have your children make their own salad by placing different vegetables, nuts and seeds on shells or in beautiful small containers on your dinner table for them to choose from.
- I wouldn’t want you to forget sea vegetables! Put a piece of Nori in your pasta or rice while you are boiling the water. They will absorb all the minerals from the sea vegetables. Then discard the Nori before serving the pasta or rice. I assure you they will not taste like seaweed!
You can see there are many ways to get your child to eat vegetables more often. And interestingly enough, following these ideas will make your life as a family for exciting! More importantly, the healthier your child is, the easier your job will be as a parent.
I’m Meredith Deasley, a registered holistic nutritionist, certified life coach and expert in spiritual vitality. If you want to learn more about raising healthy children, you can order my book The Resourceful Mother’s Secrets to Healthy Kids at www.theresourcefulmother.com . If you are ready for a more in-depth exploration of the exact minerals your child is lacking, contact me for your individualized consultation.