What is the best way to introduce my kids to new veggies?

Introducing kids to new foods can be challenging. Many times if a child thinks a food is “good for them” or “healthy” then they automatically think it will taste bad. The best way to get your kids to eat foods that are healthy (fruits, vegetables, whole grains etc) is to talk to them! Begin having conversations about the many different types of vegetables out there and point out specific examples at the supermarket. Many times kids need to hear about a food or have exposure to that food around 4 times before they would even remotely be willing to try it. Next get them involved when making the grocery list and at the supermarket. Challenge them to a game of “pick the brightest color vegetable” and have them spend some time in the produce section. You could have the kids help create new recipes using the veggies they pick out. Kids may like to create their own individual pizzas with sauce, topped with brightly colored peppers, tomatoes, artichokes etc. Keep pre cut veggies in the fridge and with your child whip up a dipping sauce (plain yogurt, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice and other fresh seasonings). Let your child “play with his or her food”. Have them make funny faces using pre sliced vegetables and place on top of sandwiches or on pita bread. You can have your child pick a new vegetable for the family to try (given a selection) and have him or her add the vegetable to whatever you are serving for dinner (carrots add nicely in soup and multi colored peppers go well with chili). Finally, speak with your family and friends about your desire to get your kids interested in eating more vegetables. Encourage that they offer vegetables as snacks when they are around your kids. The more encouragement kids get…the better!

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