I was going to write about how to prep food for a busy week. And then I thought about the times I prepped all this food and my kids just didn’t eat it! Kind of defeats the purpose, right? So how DO we get our kids to eat what’s put in front of them? Aye, there’s the rub! This month I partnered with Rubbermaid and their new FreshWorks storage collection to share my best tips for getting kids to eat veggies!
My best tips for getting kids to eat veggies
My “get kids to eat veggies” strategies are nearly the same as “get kids to enjoy reading.” I’m serious! Hear out these ideas and see if you see the parallels too!
Just like getting kids to enjoy reading, you have to have vegetables around all the time. If vegetables are a rarity, chances are kids are going to balk at eating them, because kids gravitate towards the familiar! Make vegetables a familiar sight, and kids will come to expect (and eat) them!
Be a good model of healthy eating! What you like, your kids will probably like too. Maybe not at first… I’m not going to foist my Jane Austen love upon my boys at ages five and seven, of course! But I’ll read my favorite books where they can see me enjoying the stories! When your kids see you snacking on cut vegetables, they’ll soon follow suit.
Which leads to this: start small. When my boys were babies, I read them picture books of Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick. So they’ve been familiar with the book titles and characters since babyhood. Parents with babies and toddlers, start small by making sure veggies are on their plate at every meal. Even if they turn up their nose, or just mush it around, put a little bite of diced steamed carrots or zucchini out there!
Include their favorites every mealtime. One great tip I got from our pediatrician is to be sure every meal included choices I knew for sure my kids would eat. So alongside my grilled zucchini, I would also have cucumber and carrot sticks. I’d offer all three, knowing at least they’d choose one or two. This is related to tip #1 about having vegetables around all the time. You have to keep putting the veggies out there, making sure there’s something you know they’ll pick.
Make eating veggies fun. When we read books to kids, we use silly voices, act out parts, let the kids ask questions. Make eating vegetables just as fun! Create themed displays of veggies – like my vegetable skeleton! When I saw this veggie skeleton online a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try it out with my boys. We’ve been learning about human anatomy in science this year, so it was perfect timing. The boys named parts of the skeleton (cranium, vertebrae, ribs, sternum), and then they chose a vegetable from each part! Or, let kids create their own pictures with the vegetables – my oldest created a Stegosaurus! I remind him that whatever he takes, he has to also eat, so that helps keep the veggie art reasonably contained!
Offer up the best, and respect the veggie. Treat your vegetables just like your favorite book – pick the best, and keep it in great condition. Select the freshest, brightest produce at the store. Then keep those veggies fresh and vibrant looking! Nobody wants to eat browned cauliflower or limp broccoli, least of all kids! Dried up carrot sticks or slimy pepper slices will turn kids off vegetables. Crisp, juicy, brightly-colored veggies are exciting to eat (and dip!) and kids are more likely to eat vegetables that are fresh and tasty!
Why Use FreshWorks Produce Saver Containers?
To keep veggies in front of my kids daily, I’ve been storing my veggies in my new Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers lately, with fantastic results! I’m sure everyone has experienced fresh produce going bad shortly after getting it home from the store. Which is why I was thrilled to try out Rubbermaid’s new FreshWorks food storage. It’s a container that works in three ways to keep produce in an optimal environment to stay fresh for days:
- A built-in FreshVent™ lid naturally regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2, keeping veggies fresh as when they were picked. In fact, this technology keeps produce fresher up to 80% longer than traditional packaging.*
- A CrispTrayTM at the bottom elevates produce for better airflow and less moisture, to reduce spoilage.
- Six sizes for all produce types allow you to store produce without cutting/washing it until you need to serve the produce: Large Square for tomatoes, Long Rectangle is great for celery, asparagus, or zucchini! Small sizes are great for berries! And the Large can hold up to seventeen cups, making it ideal for leafy greens!
With my FreshWorks containers, I can keep produce around the house longer (meaning more chances for my kids to enjoy fresh veggies!). And, I’m saving money not throwing out produce that spoiled before we had a chance to eat it!
True fact: I bought veggies last Friday for the vegetables I used in this post, and we still have veggies left in excellent eating condition! I never could keep veggies for a week without spoilage before! FreshWorks produce savers are stretching my money budget, and also my time budget because I don’t have to make another trip to the store!
I love finding ways to make food fun for my kids – whether that’s creating patterns or pictures with our food, or letting them pick out their favorite healthy snacks. Rubbermaid FreshWorks has helped me keep up with our family’s healthy eating goals.
One lucky reader will win a bundle of Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers!! Prize will be a pack of 2-3 containers selected by the sponsor. This is a great way to see for yourself how fresh your veggies can be! Enter in the form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.** Source: USDA 2014
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. I was compensated for sharing this message, but all opinions are my own.