"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Health, Nutrition and Special Diets
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 17
How to Get Kids To Eat More Vegetable dishes?

Hi,
I am actually seeing my kids are eating more meat than vegetables these days. They seems like prefer meat over vegetables. Even I try to mix the vegetables and meat together for some stir fry Chinese style dish, they kind of only eating the meat and left all the vegetable aside. I am more worried rather than annoying as in longer term it is not good for the health of my kids.
I give them some supplements that can cover the lack of vegetables intake, but this is not ultimate solution. I am looking for any good recommendation recommendation here? Perhaps you too have the same problems and you already got the solution that can share with me and the rest.
Thanks in advance.

__________________

__________________
Elaine.T Loves Cooking on Chinese Herbal Recipes.
Elaine.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 09:26 AM   #2
Head Chef
 
GrillingFool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 2,223
You could use my parents' method: No veggies? No TV later.
Course in this era you might have to use cell phone....

I ate my veggies, LOL!
__________________

__________________

GrillingFool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,996
I was never given the option to not eat my veggies. I couldn't leave the table until I cleaned my plate.

My kids ate their veggies so it wasn't an issue we really had to deal with.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
Senior Cook
 
mexican mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 422
WHat i try to do it make tacos..with a greater ratio of the veggies like tomatoes, cabbage than the meat..also grilling veggies can help like kebabing them..
__________________
Mexican Food
mexican mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #5
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 874
I will preface this by saying that I have a very adventurous eater and don't have this problem in my 8yo dd, but I have nieces and nephews that I have to fool.

I don't believe in coercion or manipulating at all... especially when it comes to food. There are so many issues surrounding food that I think the best thing you can do it to teach a healthy relationship with food.

Perhaps you can start by simply talking more about how vegetables fuel your body and how some have special "powers" (like carrots helping you see at night... this was one that was a favorite of dd's when she was younger). Lots of discussion about their importance in our diets can be a good persuader.

You can also get them involved in the cooking - when they have their hands in them, they are more likely to eat them because the know exactly where they are coming from.

Vegetable gardening - my dd has always loved helping me with the garden. She is actually now in charge of the herb garden and I let her do it all from planting to weeding to harvesting. She feels a real sense of ownership having a key role in the actual nourishment of her own body because she has learned what the whole cycle means.

Casseroles are a good way to have lots of veg that may get simply overlooked by the kids.

Hiding in sauces - another sneaky way using pureed vegetables.

Soups are also a good way to get vegetables in. Some "creamy" soups are actually just pureed vegetables that thicken the soup (such as butternut squash soup).

Finally... make eating healthy the only choice in the house. Get rid of the processed junk if you are buying it and they are used to it and buy lots of veg instead. We always have clean, trimmed, raw vegetables in the fridge. When dd wants a snack, she knows that her options are what is cleaned and ready in the fridge (this includes fruit as well as veg) or nothing. Vegetables don't necessarily have to be consumed at a meal... they can be eaten as snacks instead. If they become the norm, then healthy habits are formed. Sure we also eat treats, but I make them only rarely and once they're gone they're gone. (We rarely purchase treats except for chocolate.)

HTH in some way.
__________________
Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
velochic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
Senior Cook
 
JamesS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 264
I'd just make a couple of vegetarian meals a week and starve them into eating. If there's nothing else to eat, I'm confident they'll choose vegetables over being hungry. Probably why I'm not a parent!
JamesS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,393
I usually have already cut up carrot and celery sticks on the counter when the kids come home from school. I dont say anything, but they seem to go throughout the afternoon. The unpeeled carrots could sit in the refrigerator forever, but once i peel them and have them ready to go, the kids just snack on them ( because they are too lazy to peel and cut them by themselves)
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 12:06 PM   #8
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
Have them help with the preparation and cooking of the veggies. Kids love to help with that stuff and I have yet to see a kid not want to eat what he/she has spend time preparing.

Try buying dried veggies. We buy dried string beans from Trader Joes. They are crunchy with a little natural sweetness. We eat them like we would eat potato chips. The kids love them.

Try pureeing veggies and mixing them into sauces or make sauces from them. Serving spaghetti? Blend up some carrots or other veggies and mix the puree right into the sauce. They will be eating their veggies without even realizing it.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 12:33 PM   #9
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 321
alton brown actually did at least one episode on this topic - disguising veggies in dishes that kids will like....ive attached the link below, which includes a transcript, the recipes and some other info....it uses alot of parsnips, and there may be other episodes where he focuses on other veggies.....fun reading, if nothing else

EA1305: Undercover Veggies
TheNoodleIncident is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Hi. How old are your kids? I have twin 3 year old girls. About a year ago, I got them to start eating raw vegetables by making kind of a game of it. I'd say, "Do you want to eat some crunchy red pepper?" Then I'd say, "Listen to how crunchy it is." I'd get close to their ears and crunch it and they'd giggle and want to try it. (How shocked was I that it worked?!) I later did that with celery, carrots, cucumbers, etc. Of course, if your kids are older, this won't work. For broccoli, I'd show them how the broccoli kind of looks like little trees. Then I'd joke and say, "Eat your trees!" They thought it was hilarious. Even now, a year later, when they don't seem to be eating their broccoli (some days they just aren't in the mood), I'll say, "Eat your trees" and they laugh and take a bite.

I was a terrible eater as a child. I wouldn't try anything and there were very few vegetables that I would eat. My parents always used to say I needed to eat the meat, the rest didn't matter. Now we know more about nutrition and we know the opposite is true.

I put a little bit of everything on the girls' plates and when they finish their favorite things and ask for more, I tell them that it is important to eat a well-balanced diet so they will be strong and healthy. I tell them they can have more pasta or meat, but they need to eat some vegetables, too. I never force them to eat food, but I do press the issue when I know it's not something they dislike. For instance, if we are having pasta, meatballs, broccoli and carrots, they might eat all of the pasta and ask for more. I'll tell them they need to eat some meat and some vegetables first, then they can have more pasta.

There are some things they just won't eat and I don't force the issue, mainly because they are pretty good when it comes to veggies. Believe it or not, on Christmas Eve when I was making a plate of snacks for Santa (cookies) and the reindeer (carrots and celery), the kids were grabbing the carrots and celery off the plate and eating it. I had to cut up more. Nobody reached for a cookie!! Lol - I have pictures to prove it!

I struggle to get my kids to eat meat. I think the main problem is that they didn't have any teeth until they were 12 months old, so they ate a lot of ground meat: turkey meatballs, beef meatballs, pork meatballs, meatloaf, etc. (They never liked the Gerber meats as babies. Yuck! I couldn't blame them! And I tried to make my own and they didn't like that either.) I still can't get them to eat steak. One of them will eat pork tenderloin and chicken...it's a battle with the other one. (But she'll eat asparagus, broccoli, peas, carrots, yellow squash, spinach, etc. And she won't eat cupcakes, cake, pie, ice cream....refuses to try them!)

It sounds like your kids don't necessarily dislike the vegetables, but just prefer the meat more. If that is the case, I'd recommend just stressing the importance of a well-balanced, healthy diet. I find that my kids need to be reminded to eat vegetables.

If I give them a plate of Wheat Thins, string cheese, strawberries and carrot sticks for lunch, they will usually eat the strawberries and crackers first, then ask for more. I tell them they can have more after they eat some carrots and some cheese. They will eat some and I will dole out another cracker or two. Then when they eat more, I give them some more strawberries. I just kind of force the balanced diet on them a bit. I know that if they won't eat the carrots to get a few more crackers, then they really aren't that hungry. (Again, I only do this with things I know they don't truly dislike.)

We just got back from vacation. When we ate at resturants, they both wanted chicken fingers and grilled cheese. Every time. (Lately they won't even eat hamburgers!) So I would order those items, but ask for broccoli (or another veg) and fruit as sides instead of fries. If my husband or I had fries, we'd give the kids a few and then when they asked for more, we'd tell them they have to eat some of the vegetables, too. Fruit is never and issue. Fruit is usually the first thing they eat. (And we'd only give them a portion of the chicken and grilled cheese to start, otherwise they'd fill up on those things and then say they are full.)

There are lots of ways to "hide" veggies in foods, but I didn't want to do that unless I absolutely had to. I didn't start "liking broccoli" until I was about 20 years old. It's better to work to find ways to convince them that it's not so bad, otherwise, they will grow up thinking they don't need to eat vegetables (because they don't even realize they are eating them if they are hidden). Plus, you want them to make healthy choices outside of the home, too. Take it from me, I had chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk for lunch every day throughout all 4 years of high school because I was so picky. In grammar school, I always threw my sandwich away and ate only the fruit and the dessert my mom packed for me. (A pack of Yodels and an apple were enough calories for me to survive.)

Good luck.
BeachChick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 17
Thanks for the great sharing from you all!!! Now a days really not easy to be a good mum. Very challenging. Agree on the proper education on the healthy diet for the good of long term benefits to the kids.
But I do like the ideas on playing some tricks with them, since it is fun too.
Thanks again for the great ideas!
__________________
Elaine.T Loves Cooking on Chinese Herbal Recipes.
Elaine.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 10:17 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
babetoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: escondido, calif. near san diego
Posts: 14,341
when i was a young my mom serve a variety of veggies at every meal ( from the garden) a small serving of protein, and milk. there were never any arguments, we knew we had to at least eat a small bite of everything. no ifs ands or buts. my parents were into healthy eating before it was popular. not much dessert, couldn't afford it. and limited bread. it does help if the parents are eating what they are touting to the kids. i eat most anything. only five that i will not touch.

stay on top of guys , it is important now and in the long haul for healthy eating.
__________________
"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
babetoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 01:34 PM   #13
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,431
I have 5 kids, every one is different, I have couple that eat all the vegies, I have couple that eat some, I have one that doesn't eat but few things, one of those thing is cucumbers, and you can't make her eat anything else period.

Ususally I try to chop vegies, like into a soup or something else i cook) so fine that she would not know that they are there, but I wonder if the nutrition value is still there?
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 02:23 PM   #14
Head Chef
 
GrillingFool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 2,223
I get the feeling that "eat it because I said so" isn't valid in parenting these days.
Interesting. Not surprising, but interesting.

(Course, I was good at sneaking icky veggies to the dog, if she'd eat them. One time, I
put nasty boiled potatoes in my pocket and forgot to flush them later. Boy was Mom mad when she later checked the pockets in those pants before laundry. Moldy tater hand, EWWW)
__________________

GrillingFool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 03:03 PM   #15
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
GrillingFool, you are correct. The pediatricians now say you should never force a child to eat anything. I have twin 3 year olds and one loved every spoonful of babyfood (except the meat...yuck!) we put into her mouth. The other grimaced at everything. I was sure who would be the "good eater", but I was so wrong. "The good eater" suddenly became very picky and refused to try anything. ("The Grimacer" now tries almost everything!) I asked the doctor what to do and she said to just be sure we keep introducing new foods, but only one new thing at a time. She said to make sure we always serve at least one food each child would will eat.

Most of the time, that's only veggies. She doesn't even take a bite of most meat and won't eat rice anymore. She will eat sweet potato cubes, but not mashed sweet potatoes. She will eat mashed white potatoes, but not a baked potatoes (or cubes). She eats bread (whole wheat) and pasta, but I don't want to serve them as side dishes every night.

One night, we got really frustrated because she refused to try baked beans. We basically told her she HAD to try ONE BEAN. Just one. I promised her she would like it. She cried and cried and cried. We didn't give in. After about 20 minutes, she finally ate the bean. It was cold by then, of course. She made a face as soon as she put it in her mouth and rolled it around on her tongue. She gagged a little. (She likes to do that when she doesn't like something!! Drama.) She chewed it for what seemed like an eternity and then finally swallowed it. She didn't move for about a minute and then she picked up her spoon and started SHOVELING baked beans into her mouth as if she were starving to death. She ate seconds and thirds! She loves them now, but would never have tried them if we didn't force her. She doesn't like many meats so it's nice to have baked beans (B&M Boston's Best) as a side dish (for protein).

The doctor insists that we should not do that. I am really struggling with how to handle this. She won't eat any of the "normal kid foods" (hotdogs, hamburgers, mac n cheese, etc). I know that isn't a bad thing. She eats a lot of vegetables, but, as I said, will only eat pasta, bread and sweet potatoes. Once in a while...maybe once every few months...we have Tater Tots. She loves those. She'll eat french fries, but these are junk food as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather let her eat wheat bread than those things. She won't eat eggs, she won't eat any sandwiches except pb&j and grilled cheese. She won't eat any cold cuts. (Probably my fault as they are foreign to her...we don't eat them much at all.)

It's really frustrating when the doctor tells me not to force her when I've seen first hand that being somewhat stubborn pays off. She loves baked beans now. They are a great source of protein, although they do have a lot of sugar, but since she doesn't eat sweets, I guess it's not that bad.

Milk is a struggle now, too. (She won't drink chocolate milk, just white.) When she was a baby (bottle fed) she was consuming almost 40oz of milk per day. She LOVED it. I was concerned that was too much. She was insatiable. The doctor told me she was growing and if she wanted it, that was fine. Eventually, she was down to four 8oz bottles per day (which was more normal). Then we started introducing food. When we switched from bottles to sippy cups, she started drinking less. When when we switched to regular cups, she drank even less. I struggle to get 16oz of dairy into her every day. I've just started being firm at mealtimes. I tell her she can't leave the table until she finishes her milk.

She has never taken a bite of ice cream or cake. She just won't taste it. I laugh and tell her she doesn't know what she is missing. Again, probably my fault. When the girls were babies, I refused to feed them any of the "baby food desserts". They were babies and they'd eat plenty of junk in their lifetimes. I didn't think I needed to help them acquire a taste for peach cobbler at such a young age! My MIL criticized me for this, and maybe I've created a bit of a monster (lol), but I am proud when we have (extended) family dinners and I don't have to cook a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese because that's all they'll eat. What I DO have to do is cook my own fresh veggies though. My MIL serves canned peas and canned green beans and my kids won't eat them. If you are used to fresh green beans, canned ones are pretty gross!! They don't look like green beans, they don't smell like them, the texture is all wrong... But I guess if my kid would choose broccoli over a cupcake, I must be doing something right!!

I should add:

My dad never forced me to eat anything. My mom used to just say, "Try it. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it, but I want you to try it." I'd say no, refuse to try it and then my dad would make something else for me. (Guess who was Daddy's Little Girl?!) Boy did my parents fight about that! My mom used tell him he was doing me more harm than good, etc. He wouldn't listen. I was a terrible eater because of this until I became an adult. I now find myself struggling with which approach I should take.
BeachChick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #16
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6
Tehnicly I am still a kid (17) but i know t o prepare a lot of food and i suggest you to try to make a meal that has a lot of veegetabels and a bit of meat but try to hid the vegetabels.... Well it always works for my bro XD.
But you could also use potatoes a lot since its prefered by kids, just try to make a meal that looks good and tastes good and if the kids like it they will ask more (you could also like that its a meat of a sea creature :p make it more iteresting for them or tell him some story while their eat they will be distracted (like my mom did to me when i was younger he just told me a part of the story and said if you dont eat that up you wont hear the rest of the story)
Hope i helped you :D
Shole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #17
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shole View Post
(like my mom did to me when i was younger he just told me a part of the story and said if you dont eat that up you wont hear the rest of the story)
Oh I really like that idea! Welcome to the site by the way.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 05:39 PM   #18
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6
thanks :D
And glad that you like it i hope it helped :D
Shole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2010, 08:35 PM   #19
Senior Cook
 
CookLikeJulia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I usually have already cut up carrot and celery sticks on the counter when the kids come home from school. I dont say anything, but they seem to go throughout the afternoon. The unpeeled carrots could sit in the refrigerator forever, but once i peel them and have them ready to go, the kids just snack on them ( because they are too lazy to peel and cut them by themselves)
Wow very nice practice eating for you kids its a carrot for snack ? great!. Usually I notice some of the parent feed thier child as for snack is the fast food theres a parent also allowed thier kids having a snack with junk foods , so scary practices .
CookLikeJulia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2010, 10:39 PM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kadesma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: california
Posts: 21,371
My grand kids are use to my way...They know the plates of carrots,celery,broccoli,cucumber,jicama,snap peas that I set out with a little dip is for them to munch on, they also love the plate of apple,banana, strawberries,blueberries, any fruit in season is also for them and they make the most of it. I hold the fruit juices and soda's are a special treat maybe once a week on Sunday..Most of the time they can have ice water, or plain milk...They are now being allowed to help make their sandwich, or get the mac and cheese ready..theypick and choose what veggie to go with Ethan is in love with grape tomatoes and would eat a carton full at one meal...I'm lucky with 2 of them they eat everything with enjoyment..The other Two i have to work at it...They both know they have to eat a bite of anything new and if the like it fine..if not pick another to eat..it was hard at first for them, but I stood fast and now we are getting there It takes work, and I love you, and either or at times. But they get the message...
kadesma
__________________

__________________
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
kadesma is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.