Raising good eaters makes dinnertime more enjoyable and encourages better health as children eat a wider array of foods and gain nutrients from a diverse assortment. Cultivating good eating habits pays off in the long run too when the mature taste buds desire nutritious foods and are willing to try new creations.
Serve vegetables when they are hungry.
Simple. Make veggies the backbone of snacks and serve vegetables first at dinner time. When you are hungry, pretty much everything tastes good.
At one point, my mom had four children under four (yeah, she’s amazing!) She entertained the rambunctious crowd while finishing dinner prep by giving us each a generous helping of vegetables, still frozen.
Peas. Corn. Mixed vegetables. Green beans.
Didn’t matter. We were hungry and the frozen pieces made a perfect finger food for messy toddlers.
The same idea works with fresh vegetables too. While helping make a salad, Rosalind munches on carrots or peppers. It only minimally affects dinnertime appetite, but helps get the veggies in.
Not only does this help to cultivate a love for vegetables, but there’s a health benefit too. Eating vegetables before harder to digest foods like meat makes them easier for our bodies to assimilate quickly.
This work for me. What’s your favorite way to encourage good eating habits?
photo by Rob Owen-Wahl