While we’re sure there is a child out there who prefers Brussel Sprouts to crisps, this child does not live in our house. Or in our friends’ houses. If they had their own way, most children will eat the food that tastes the best and can you honestly blame them? Crisps are delicious. As are Nutella sandwiches, cake, and pizza.
Okay…now we’re just getting hungry.
But doctors and science say that we all need to have a balanced diet that includes plenty of food that comes from the ground/doesn’t include marshmallows as a main ingredient. So how do you get your kids to eat their vegetables without everyone bursting into tears at the dinner table? We’re so glad you asked.
Here are our three favorite strategies for getting kids to eat their vegetables. They are very straightforward and moderately 😁 effective. Enjoy!
STRATEGY 1: LIE
You can be straight with your children and explain to them the health benefits of vegetables, which are good eyesight, improved digestion, and strong bones we think? That might work if your children are very interested in science or are dedicated to their health and fitness regimes in pursuit of an Olympic gold.
But for the rest of us with kids who would happily subsist on bread and Jammie Dodgers, we need to lie.
Some lies you can try out on your kids as you encourage vegetable eating include, but are not limited to:
“Raw broccoli is so yummy. It’s even better than ice cream.”
“Did you know that Nutella is actually made from asparagus? Go ahead. Look it up after you finish your dinner.”
“Peppa Pig told me that she eats carrots and peas every day.”
“If you don’t eat your celery you will grow horns out of the top of your head like a reindeer. Don’t blame me, I don’t make the rules.”
STRATEGY 2: DECEIVE
You’ll see a lot of recipes on Pinterest that encourage you to hide vegetables in smoothies, muffins, and pasta dishes. That’s very smart, and we also encourage you to try these tactics if you have time.
But if you don’t have time to mince up zucchini in pieces so small it will simply become one with the rigatoni and your kids won’t notice, there are other ways to use the deceive strategy. For example you could:
Stick a pea under the peanut butter in your kid’s sandwich. Much like trying to get a dog to take his pills.
Stuff some avocado in the bottom of an ice cream cone and then cover it with mint chocolate chip.
Gaslight your kids into believing that they didn’t actually eat three bites of cucumber when they definitely already did. Then make them eat three more bites of cucumber.
Fill up their Easter basket with butter beans instead of jelly beans and tell them that this is what the Easter Bunny said was the new cool thing.
Smother a bowl of aubergine with a bottle of maple syrup and bask in the glory of your vegetable win while your child bounces off the walls at preschool later this morning.
STRATEGY 3: BRIBE
Perhaps the most straightforward way to convince your kids to eat their vegetables is to bribe them. Pure, classic, bribery.
You can bribe kids to eat their vegetables by offering five minutes of a game on your phone in exchange for five bites of cauliflower. Or a thirty minute show in exchange for three pieces of bell pepper. Or the entire suite of Disney movies if they sit still for just a moment and smell the radishes Sometimes you just take what you can get.
Dessert is always a good bribing tool as well. No biscuits unless you eat that salad with a smile on your face! You can have some pudding if you gobble up your spinach! I’ll buy out the entire ice cream truck if you eat a green bean. Or more typically, Enjoy the whole packet of biscuits whilst I put your untouched dinner in the bin/eat it myself (delete as appropriate). Arsehole.
Note: This doesn’t apply to you as an adult. Go ahead and eat your dessert. In front of the kids even. You’ve already paid your dues and let’s face it, your eyesight is not going to get any better at this point.
Now are there better ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables? Probably. But this the real world, and you’re real busy. So keep on keeping on and do your best out there, parents. Those kids will eat a leek someday. Not today, obviously. But someday.
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