If I say “Don’t give your child vegetables at meals” – I am sure you will look at me incredulously and say “What? Are you serious?”
I however will not be surprised at your shocked expression because I know that serving vegetables at meals is deeply ingrained in our psyche. Over generations we have been led to believe that meals are the times when we must eat and feed our children vegetables. We have also been taught that since vegetables are so good for our children – we must never accept a refusal to eat vegetables from our children.
So, over generations parents have persisted with serving vegetables to their children at mealtimes and children have responded by steadfastly refusing to eat those vegetables. As a result – what little gain that may have come from eating vegetables – is lost in the ensuing battle between parent and child.
Is it worth it? Certainly not.
Vegetables are very good for health. Children must learn to love vegetables and choose to eat them for the rest of their lives. But will they learn to love something they are forced to eat? Certainly not. And hence my advice to avoid vegetables during meals.
If you want your child to like vegetables – offer vegetables as snacks instead of meals. Children are very hungry at mealtimes. At meal times give them food that will fill them up quickly and give them a quick burst of energy.
Do not offer vegetables at mealtimes because vegetables are difficult to eat. A tired and hungry child will just not have the energy required to chew vegetables. A tired and hungry child on the lookout for a quick energy fix will also not be satisfied with the tiny amount of energy that a vegetable will give out after a lag of maybe an hour.
If you force your child to eat vegetables at these times – your child will begin to hate the idea of vegetables for life.
Should you then stop giving your child vegetables? No.
Offer vegetables as snacks instead of meals. Children are less hungry at snack times and will be more likely to experiment with a few bites of vegetables then.
Feed smart and stay stress free!
Check out a way to offer vegetables to kids as snacks here