Kids are predisposed to sweet flavors. That’s why it’s less of a battle to get them to eat fruits than it is to get them chomping veg. In fact, most kiddos aren’t getting the right amount of vegetables per day, with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that while fruit intake has increased, vegetable consumption is still the same.

So, how do you get your offspring to eat healthier foods? I found a few sneaky tips that helped with my kids.
  1. Get your kids involved
You can spark your child’s appetite for vegetables by getting them involved in planning and preparing the meals. You could even get your little one to grow their very own veggie garden, be it outside or using indoor containers. According to studies, giving children more insight along with ownership increases their willingness to eat healthy foods.
  1. Get creative with servings
It makes no difference whether healthy food is canned, cooked or raw – it still counts. If you’re choosing canned food, go for low-sodium options whenever you can. If you’re enticing your toddler or baby with pouches, pick the ones with no added salt or sugar.

In terms of pouches, these shouldn’t be your kid’s only source of fruits or veg. Aim to expose your children to actual produce, prepared in a myriad of ways, not just pouches of puree.

Keep exposing your children to healthy foods in different ways. They say it can take as many as 15 times of trying something new to accept it.
  1. Try dips
Kids are apparently more likely to eat their vegetables if they’re served with a tasty dip. Kids love ranch dressing, While dressings aren’t the healthiest option around (often filled with MSG and soybean oil), you can always make your very own and get your little ones to help. To make a delicious and healthier dressing than a store-bought option, mix together Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, kosher salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried dill, a cup of plain Greek yogurt, and fresh chives.
  1. Try a two-or-one approach
This is a sneaky offering, and I love it. At dinnertime, offer two brightly colored veg options and ask your kids if they want one, the other or both. You’ll be surprised just how often they choose both when you leave the decision to them. After all, they’re always going to choose more of something given half a chance!
  1. Hide the vegetables
This goes back to being creative with the way you serve healthy foods. Your kids aren’t likely to complain about carrot in their soup if they can’t actually see the carrots. This is another special go-to ops mission of mine. Every weekend, we cook up a pot of chicken soup. The stock is a combination of vegetables like carrots, turnips, celery, onion, and cauliflower. We strain the veg from the stock before serving, and my kids don’t know the difference.
  1. Keep healthy stealthy
If your child flat out refuses to eat healthy food, sneak it in. For instance, if your little one’s not that into milk and you’re worried about their calcium intake, blend it into a smoothie. Or, add steamed veg to your next quesadilla night. Trust me on this one, veggie quesadillas with a few steamed veg on the side somehow do the trick!

What sneaky strategies do you use to get your kiddos to eat healthy food?

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