Look, let’s face it: vegetables are boring by nature, and if you’re a kid, vegetables are usually your dinnertime nemesis. If you’re one of the many frustrated parents out there cleaning up hidden broccoli chunks from under plates, you know we’re right.
So, what can you do as a parent to get your kids to eat more vegetables?
According to research published in the journal Appetite, all you have to do is cut those vegetables into fun squares, circles, stars, suns, moons, etc. That’s right; it’s that simple. Research shows us that children are more likely to eat vegetables when they are presented in pleasing shapes.
Well, wait, you say, that might work on young children, but it’s not going to work on my older child!
Okay, fair enough. Not all children are going to be swayed by a star-shaped potato.
For older kids and ones not impressed by your artistic cutting skills, researchers at Texas A&M University suggest parents pay closer attention to what foods vegetables are paired with.
Data from Texas A&M showed kids are more likely to eat vegetables when they aren’t paired with favorite entrees. So, if your child loves chicken fingers, don’t expect him or her to go nuts over the vegetable side dish. If you child isn’t thrilled about meatloaf, however, THAT’S when you offer some vegetable options.
And parents, one final note:
Lead by example. You can’t expect your children to eat vegetables if you never do.
*Drops mic and walks off stage*