Monkey see monkey do. It’s all about love and inspiration. If you had parents who made you sit at the table and forced you to eat your food before you could leave the table, then you know the feeling. What you are made to eat, you really don’t care to eat. Every human being has their aversions to certain tastes, it is highly unlikely that your child doesn’t like all fruits and vegetables.
Parent with love and gentleness when it comes to feeding your child
If you begin when your offspring are infants, serving them fruits and vegetables and continue to make them the household food choices, it becomes a natural habit for them to continue eating as teens and adults. If you rely on drive-thru, fast food, going to restaurants and the snacks you have in the pantry or fridge as totally processed and packaged food your child knows nothing else. Your child knows nothing but what you place in front of them.
The parent or caregiver sets the example
If you are a very opinionated parent, turning your nose up at anything different, making faces, rolling your eyes, holding your nose, making fun of the food, and vehemently disliking the foods you yourself don’t like, then your children will follow in your footsteps right behind you. You can also serve the vegetable or fruit in different ways or raw with different kinds of dip that may be more appealing.
Let them taste it raw before you cook it, and then again after you cook it or the way you will be serving it
A bite or two at first is fine for a first try. Don’t make a big deal about it, then go on about your meal. The next time you serve it allow them another bite or two, just like you do, it takes time to get used to something new, and usually by the third or fourth time the taste is more appealing because you are getting used to it now.
When a child is ready, presentation is everything
Don’t force it. Gently and lovingly like you would the breast or the bottle. Kids get their teeth and are able to handle tastes and feeding at different stages of their life. For some kids, it is better to just set the food out and serve it up and not serve any to the child as if it is something special only you eat r the rest of the family. The child by wanting to do everything you do, and eat and drink what you do, will naturally ask about it, and want to try it. You’ve sparked their interest simply by eating it yourself. The same way you may sit down and eat your bag of chips, just go about it as if it’s the norm, making a big deal of trying a new food and begging them to try, can put some children and adults off.
Another way to get older children to try to eat fruits and vegetables is to get them outside for some fresh air and fun play. Nothing builds up an appetite like playing and fresh air. Take some carrot sticks for snacking at the park in a baggie or container.
Portion control, how much is too much
Fruits are digested in 15 minutes and vegetables take longer, and neither will add excess weight to your child no matter how much they eat. But a small child will naturally stop eating when they’ve had enough or feel full and are ready to leave the table. Naturally the stomach tells the brain, ten minutes or so into eating. Some people eat more slowly, and other will eat more quickly. There is no hurry and forcing is never an issue.
Love, patience and raising your family up at all times is nourishing in of itself and sets the vibration for the home, and the foundation for trust. This type of environment gives your children no reason to feel they need doubt, fear or mistrust what it is you are teaching them.