How to get your kids to eat veggies

Let's start with the basics:

This is something that parents really struggle with, but getting your children to eat their greens does not have to be difficult.

Very often, parents agonize over this issue, and dinner time turns into something which is somewhat stressful for the entire family.

However, with a little creativity and imagination, every child will want to see a little more color on his or her plate. It is exactly the same with adults. You have to ask yourself what you would prefer eating. Most people would agree that a well presented meal at a 5-star restaurant would be a lot more appealing than a one pot dish.

What to do?

Wouldn’t you rather see beautifully sliced potatoes with Mediterranean veggies scattered around the plate, along with a nice sauce drizzled over with meat? This is the same with your kids, except they would want something presented a little differently.

Of course, ready-made snacks full of preservatives should not be on the shopping list. That’s not the object here. It’s really easy to make something creative on the plate. You can make a smiley face with peas and carrots. You can cut out stars with certain veggies.

A lot of mothers will liquidize vegetables and use this in a soup. Many children just have to look at certain veggies, and it is enough to put them off. This is really where you have to be creative. For example, if you decide that meatballs is on the menu, then slice up a couple of carrots, onions and courgettes, or even mash them up. Now, simply add this to the mixture.

meatballs for kids

It is amazing how many kids still don't know the difference between very basic vegetables. A lot of children will only associate tomatoes with their favorite sauce that they spread over their French fries. It is the responsibility of parents to teach kids about these things from an early age.

This can be done with a little discipline and effort on the part of the parent. Children in Italy will be able to name just about all the vegetables in their region before they even go to school. If you make the effort and start to create things like stir fries and stews and think of their favorite foods where you can sneak a couple of vegetables inside, you will be on the right track.

If you present someone with a meal accompanied with a stalk of cauliflower or broccoli, you can't expect much. Most adults will push this aside and start with the meat.

However, if you used a couple of roasted peppers, along with a grilled aubergine and a courgette, sprinkled with almonds and a splash of olive oil, people will definitely start to appreciate your effort.

By using the food pyramid for kids we can start to educate the younger generation from an early age. Learning to eat the right foods from the start is the best thing that you can do for your child. If you let them get used to junk food and the tantalizing flavors of fast food chains it is going to be a lot more difficult to change their ways.

It is not easy to plan meals for your kids and still think of the healthiest way to do it, but with this kind of pyramid in place it serves as a guide and it will help you out for some time until it becomes like second nature. It may seem so convenient to stop off at your local fast food chain, but once you get into the routine of cooking home style food you will really start to see the rewards.

More and more kids today are overweight and unfit. Statistics tell us that in ten years time the figure will escalate and this is why we really need to focus on healthy eating. It is not that obesity is a problem just because the appearance of the child will cause him or her to have a low esteem, but obesity also leads to things like diabetes and later in life it can lead to heart conditions. If one is overweight as a child, then the chances are that this pattern will continue into their adult lives.

child eating corn

The benefits of the food pyramid for kids

*By introducing this into the home you will find that your child's health will start to improve almost immediately.

*The nutrients and vitamins that one gets from the variety of foods included in the food pyramid will increase the energy levels. Children will want to do more exercise and this is a great thing in this day and age.

*The five food groups that the pyramid consists of offers a lot of variety and you will find that if you are creative in the kitchen, kids won't complain about bland tasting foods. Getting them to make dinner with you is a good idea because they will become more interested in it in this way.

* Because there is a greater variety, kids will be less inclined to eat more. One burger is not as filling as a plate filled with fruit, vegetables, some sort of protein as well as grains. This will add up to less calories as well.

*Increasing the dose of fruits and vegetable and minimizing the protein is recommended. This is where you will get all of vitamins and nutrients.

The food pyramid for kids has been made easier by representing it in a plate where the plate will be divided up into sections. Fruits and veggies will take up half of the plate. Grains are a little bigger than the protein section.

Obesity in children is nothing to be taken lightly and part of why this happens is that parents don't know how to cope with the situation. The plate, which consists of the five food groups is said to be doing very well. Even first lady, Michelle Obama is raving about the food pyramid for kids.