Who does not want to have less discussions with children about eating vegetables and healthy snacks? Whining children, negative talk, ‘accidental’ drop-on-the-floor-ing you name it. Parents ultimately stop talking about the v-word, giving up. Having discussions about this topic is no longer necessary. It all starts with you, the parent. Break the cycle and start interacting with your children, approach them in a positive way. The following 6 tactics have proven to get kids excited about healthy snacks and are very easy to incorporate into your daily life.
1. Provide to children various vegetables
Research carried out by the University of Leeds, the University of Bourgogne and the University of Copenhagen shows that a child’s enjoyment of healthy snacks is related to the frequency of healthy food offered. The presumption that a child’s enjoyment is related to how healthy snacks are prepared tends to be untrue. Mothers and children participated in the study. The experiment showed that mothers offering children a variety of vegetables were more successful at getting kids to eat them.
According to a study from the University of College London rewards do not only contribute to getting kids to eat vegetables, it also teaches children to like them. Children who were not rewarded for eating healthy snacks ate significantly less veggies than kids who were rewarded.
3. Put vegetables on a place easy to reach
The US Department of Agriculture discovered that healthy snacks placed in an appealing surrounding and within easy reach makes it more attractive for children to eat veggies. Put healthy snacks on the lowest shelf in the fridge and do the experiment yourself at home.
4. Eating vegetables with variety of dips
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published an article in 2011 dedicated to the use of dips on bitter veggies. Part of the article was a study, revealing that children who are sensitive to bitterness eat more vegetables when dip is added. Several kinds of dips were used for the experiment like applesauce, hummus, sugar-free caramel and low-fat yoghurt.
5. Involve children in healthy cooking
Prepare together with your child healthy snacks. A study which was published by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior revealed that teaching kids about vegetables and giving them the tools to help prep and cook, results in children eating larger amounts of healthy food.
6. Be a role model
Enjoy vegetables yourself. Children tend to eat more veggies when they see their parents eating healthy snacks on a regular basis. The study got lots of media attention, the British Journal of Developmental Psychology devoted a full article to it.