Kids Don't Want to Eat Vegetables? Don't worry, Parents! | Aurel Saragih | Kinderkloud

Kids Don't Want to Eat Vegetables? Don't worry, Parents!

child eating vegetables

Vegetables are indeed the type of food most avoided by children. Sometimes the reason for not wanting to eat vegetables can be because of a taste that children think is too bitter, an unpleasant texture in the mouth, or an unpleasant aftertaste. Children are dominated by the desire to eat sweet, salty, or crunchy foods. It is undeniable that vegetables are very important for the growth and development of children. So how do you get your kids to at least want and eventually like to eat vegetables? How do you get your child to eat vegetables without being forced or having to hide them in the food? Maybe the 5 ways below can be done, parents!

1. Give an example to children

Every child learns from modeling. When children see that their parents are also happy when they eat vegetables, children also have the curiosity to try them. As much as possible sit and eat together with children when there is a vegetable food menu. Show that parents also like the taste and texture of the vegetables they are eating. For example, when you are eating spinach, parents can also say “oh, the spinach is delicious! It's sweet when you use rice” while showing the appropriate expression.

2. Introduce children to all the elements in vegetables

Sometimes we just want our children to eat the vegetables right away. Maybe what makes children not want to eat vegetables is that they are not familiar with vegetables. Parents can invite children to get acquainted with sensory play. For example, by inviting children to hold the texture of the vegetables they are going to eat, smell the smell of the vegetables they are eating, and color or draw the vegetables. The more familiar and often the child sees it, the more likely the child is to want to eat these vegetables.

3. Give rewards to children

As much as possible avoid giving rewards to children in the form of other foods whose nutrition or taste is the opposite of the taste of vegetables. For example, when they can eat vegetables, children can eat chocolate. This will make children have the perception that chocolate will always be tastier than vegetables, but this is not the case. Give rewards to children only in the form of activities or maybe they can buy toys that they like. With this, the child assumes that vegetables are fun foods to eat.

4. Make it consistent!

When giving a child a vegetable menu, provide a consistent schedule and explain it to the child beforehand. When children know when they have to eat vegetables, children try to prepare themselves to eat. He prepares drinks or maybe additional food such as rice or eggs that can accompany him while eating vegetables. This makes the child consistently know what he wants to eat.

5. Don't hide vegetables in food

Hiding vegetables in the food they are about to eat makes children eat them faster, but this makes children have an unpleasant relationship with vegetables. In the beginning, the child might try not to eat or even only want to eat 1 type of vegetable. This is something that might happen. However, what parents can do is continue to provide the same vegetable menu throughout the day, such as carrots or spinach, while periodically introducing other vegetables to their children. Give time for children to eat vegetables. Enjoy the process, parents!

References :

Caton, S. J., Blundell, P., Ahern, S. M., Nekitsing, C., Olsen, A., Møller, P., ... & Hetherington, M. M. (2014). Learning to eat vegetables in early life: the role of timing, age and individual eating traits. PloS one, 9(5), e97609.

Guardian News and Media. (2019, November 24). Five ways to get your children to Eat Vegetables. The Guardians. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/24/five-ways-to-get-your-children-to-eat-vegetables

By: Sarah Aurelia Saragih, S.Psi. from the BehaviorPALS Center

Kids eating vegetables, veggies, picky eaters

Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / General Health / Kesehatan Umum / Health / Kesehatan / Kids Don't Want to Eat Vegetables? Don't worry, Parents!

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