For kids, summer means pool parties, playtime, trips to the beach, and snacks.
Lots of snacks.
For parents, getting kids to incorporate veggies into meals and snacks feels like a chore. But, there are ways to take the pain out of the process. Read on to learn about three proven, easy ways families can become more successful in getting kids to eat their greens.
If you want your kids to eat more veggies, grow them. When my own kids were toddlers, we started gardening together with the hope of raising adventurous, healthy eaters. Would the kids try tomatoes off the vine? What about yellow ones? What about zucchini? The answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” each time.
Jeni Barajas, environmental educator at Olivewood Gardens in National City shares, “Growing food cultivates curiosity. My students have become more adventurous eaters. Even trying one bite gives kids the opportunity to expand their palate.”
Whether you plant raised beds or grow herbs in the kitchen window, gardening is easier than you think.
Tips for Growing Food with Kids
Good Neighbor Gardens’ founder Mia Vaughnes recommends growing radishes and carrots together for a simple container garden. Just sprinkle a little of each of the seeds over the soil in your container, then cover with only ¼ inch more soil. Keep soil moist at all times and ensure plenty of sunlight.
2. Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Magic happened in my mother-in-law’s kitchen a few summers ago when she trusted my kids with a knife and let them chop vegetables for a salad. All of a sudden, my kids became salad eaters. Now they happily chop a variety of veggies and experiment with toppings. My tween daughter even loves making salads for her lunch.
Concerned about safety and knives? The right tool can ease your mind, and many are readily available online. Cutting gloves protect hands from accidents and they come in a variety of sizes. A crinkle cutter is easy for small hands to grasp. And a hand-powered food processor is fun for kids dicing onions or peppers.
3. Add a Dash of Fun with Games and Technology