7 Tricks to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy, Plant-Based Food

Teach them how to love their greens this early.

Updated on October 05, 2017 8:10 am

Catherine Zhang

7 Tricks to Encourage Kids Eat Healthy, Plant-Based Food

Good nutrition is essential for children’s overall health. Even if dairy products and sugar cannot be avoided, teaching your kids to love fruits and vegetables can still go a long way to avoiding diseases like obesity. According to a Straits Times article, the obesity rate among children increased from 10 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2015.

Give your child the gift of good health—one of the most important gifts of all—by teaching them to love their greens using these tricks:

1. Set a good example.

You cannot tell your child to eat something you yourself don’t like eating. Show your love for fruits and vegetables every time you go grocery shopping. Prepare your own meal in front of your child and show how much you love your food. This way, your child will be curious why you like these plant-based foods so much.

2. Inform them of the benefits.

While most kids hate vegetables, some are willing to try if only they know what are its benefits for them. Talk to your child about the importance of eating these plant-based foods. Explain to them why certain fruits are rich in Vitamin C and why this specific vitamin type is good for their health.

3. Make eating vegetables fun.

Some kids find vegetables boring and unappealing. The key is to present meals in a fun way, such as cutting vegetables in differents shapes and sizes, or creating images such as a smiling face. You can also disguise vegetables and fruits by turning them into smoothies or mixing them with other food your kids love. (Read: 7 Tricks to Get Your Kids To Eat Their Veggies)


4. Let them help cook their meal.

Take them to the vegetable shop with you and let them choose which one they like the most. In the kitchen, give them the chance to participate by teaching them how to peel, cut, or even mix their own food. However, ensure that they’re properly guided to avoid any accident. When kids “cook” their own food, they’re most likely to be excited to try it.

5. Discourage picky eating.

One of the reasons why kids become picky eaters is when they see other people in their house pick their own food, too. It’s best to prepare the same type of meal for the whole family and avoid making separate food for kids.

6. Don’t force them to eat everything.

Do not expect your child to eat everything at once, especially if you have just introduced fruits and vegetables to them. It takes time for our palate to get used to the taste of any new type of food, especially for kids. Let them have one bite first, if need be, and then progress into more bites until they become accustomed to its taste and start asking for it.

7. Dining out is not an excuse to binge on unhealthy food.

Dining out does not give your child pass to order whatever he or she wants—but you also have to admit it’s the time when your kid will probably request for a pizza or hamburger. Let him/her have what she wants while still being conscious of the health benefits of the food. Try ordering a pizza with less meat and more vegetables or pair it with a healthy smoothie.

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Cover photo courtesy of Eat This, Not That!


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