Usually, I’m the poster child for what NOT to do when it comes to parenting. But every now and then I find something that works and feel compelled to share my wisdom.
Most parenting books and magazines say cheerful things like, “Offer little Johnny lima beans up to 36 times. Little ones may need to be exposed to a vegetable many, many times before getting used to it.”
My son is 8 and still spends 20 minutes at each meal soundly rejecting whatever vegetable has been put on his plate. His father and I have presented many, many kinds of vegetables over and over again since birth and he still won’t willingly eat them. It’s exhausting.
So promise your child that if he eats some lettuce he can throw all your parenting books and magazines out the window. Maybe that will motivate him!
4. Send them to grandma’s house.
According to Grandma, my children are perfect little angels who do everything they’re asked to do at her house. So if she tells me that they ate all their dinner, including vegetables, then I choose to believe her.
Even though we all know that Grandma probably let them eat a bowl of ice cream for dinner!
3. Mate strategically.
I’m serious. My husband was some sort of genetic mutant who ate all his vegetables growing up. I, on the other hand, never saw a vegetable I liked. To this day I only eat them because I’m supposed to.
Is it any surprise, then, that I bore one child who hates vegetables and one who actually eats them? My daughter obviously inherited her father’s taste buds.
So for all of you out there still considering a future mate, don’t forget to put “vegetable-tolerant tastebuds” on your checklist!
2. Try spite.
Remember how I said that I had one child who hates vegetables and one who likes them? Usually when I start demanding that my picky child eat a bite of green beans (to which he starts fighting me on it for 20 minutes) his little sister does the following:
- Sits up straight.
- Moves her head from side to side making eye contact with me and her father.
- Dramatically raises a green bean one by one, drops it in her mouth, and then makes “mmmm” noises.
Maybe once a week that angers my son enough that he eats a green bean. Hey, it’s something!
Spite. It’s what’s for dinner.
And the #1 Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables….
1. Serve frozen peas.
I don’t know why, but it works. Both my genetic-mutant-vegetable-tolerant child and the one who hates vegetables will eat FROZEN PEAS.
Cheap, easy, and nutritious.
Hopefully, I’ve provided some tips that may work in your house as you work to get your kids to eat their vegetables. Good luck out there, everyone. I’m with you!
What works for you and your family?