Is your little one a classic vegetable-hater? Then try these easy, crafty ?ways to slip a few more nutrient-rich you-know-whats into her diet. And remember to consistently offer vegetables every day, even if she doesn't eat them. You'll be surprised sometime when she decides to take a bite!
1. Be a good role model. Does your child see you eating vegetables regularly? She certainly won't find it necessary to try that broccoli and cauliflower if you aren't eating them. Your role in proper feeding is not only to offer the appropriate foods but to set a good example, too.
2. Vary types and textures. Serve those veggies any way you can? — canned, fresh, or frozen. Each type has a different taste and texture, so while one child will eat only canned green beans, another child will prefer fresh steamed ones. Nutritionally, they are all fairly equal, with the exception of canned vegetables having a lot of salt. Just rinse them if you're concerned about that. But remember the focus is on eating the vegetables, not worrying about salt. If your son loves the texture of mashed potatoes, see if he'll eat other vegetables that have been mashed or pureed.
3. Add toppers and dips. If having a cheese or butter sauce or ranch dip makes all the difference between eating vegetables or not, then let your child sauce and dip away! Sometimes just drizzling melted cheese on broccoli or cauliflower will make that vegetable acceptable. Offer a baked potato and encourage your child to put a few tablespoons of vegetables on it before topping it with cheese sauce or sour cream. Kids love to dip their food, so encourage eating raw vegetables, like colorful bell pepper strips, with a favorite ranch dressing. Use caution with children under 2, as raw vegetables can be a choking hazard.
4. Pile it on pizza. Try any vegetable that will work on this all-time kid favorite food. Add chopped tomatoes to the pizza sauce. Sprinkle on shredded zucchini, canned or fresh mushrooms, chopped onion, or red or green bell pepper rings. Some kids will even enjoy broccoli "trees" on their pizza. If your child really loves cheese, make sure you add plenty of it along with these extra vegetables.
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