So here is the thing – I don’t claim to be an expert. I don’t have years of experience under my belt as to how to get a kid or adult to eat more vegetables. But I was recently married (well, almost a year ago) and I have had the chance to learn how to get a husband to eat more veggies.
I will say that I have a husband that does like vegetables, he just would rather eat something else. So if it is his choice there wouldn’t be vegetables on his plate. Good thing he isn’t the meal planner around here
So here are some ideas from my kitchen to yours on how to help those you love eat a few more greens this year!
1. Ask them – This might seem funny, but really, it helps. After we had been married a few months I finally went to Mr. Parry and said “Okay, how can I make it easier for you to eat vegetables?” and surprisingly he gave me an answer with no fuss (see #2) and that was that. So maybe ask your kids or spouse or whoever. They have a better idea of what they want than you do!
2. Incorporate, Incorporate, Incorporate! – So Mr. Parry’s answer to my question was that he likes eating vegetables when they are a part of the main dish or meal as opposed to a side dish. So he likes a good stir fry or stew with veggies, or a veggie dish he can add to his rice and beans we are eating. This doesn’t happen every meal…but if you think and look hard enough, finding ways to add vegetables to every day dishes isn’t as hard as you may think.
3. Do it all day – The best way to make sure anyone is getting their 3 servings of vegetables in a day is to spread it out over the day. Make a green smoothie, have carrots and hummus as a snack and add some sliced red peppers to your tacos at dinner. There you have it. No one likes eating 3 cups of broccoli at dinner (other than me).
4. Remember, 3rd time isn’t the charm – Studies have shown that it can take people 10-15 times of trying a certain food to actually want to eat it. Don’t give up! Ask them to try a couple bites each time and stand strong.
5. Involve them – Take your picky eater to the store with you or have them help prepare a meal in the kitchen. Better yet, have them help GROW the vegetables in a garden! When they are involved in the vegetable choosing and preparing, they are more likely to eat it.
I don’t think there is a fail-safe way to increasing vegetable intake in everyone. We can all use improvement so don’t get disappointed when it doesn’t work the first time. Be patient and remember, “Superman ate his vegetables, so you should too!”