Getting Kids to Eat Their Veggies (and egg yolks, and cod liver oil..)

I feel like I have it pretty lucky with my son.  He loves salmon and kale chips and I usually don’t have a huge problem with him trying new things.  We have a rule that he has to at least try it.  If he doesn’t like it, that’s fine.  I don’t force him to eat things that I know would be cruel to any child.  If I know I’m making something for dinner he doesn’t like, I will make a simplified child version just for him (instead of a frittata with eggs and veggies, he’ll have scrambled eggs and a few pieces of broccoli or asparagus on the side. Even though you and I both know that really it’s all the same thing, kids don’t see it that way.)  I don’t believe that making them sit at the dinner table until their plate is clean will get you anywhere or get the kid to like the food. In fact, I think it might make them hate it even more.  Like I said, the rule in my house is you have to at least try it and a lot of times after a little fight that involves the covering of the mouth and screaming, he ends up smiling devilishly and liking it.  Even though I have pretty good luck with that method, there are certain things I just can’t get him to eat such as fresh leafy greens or the yolks of eggs unless they’re scrambled.  He loves the whites of hard boiled (or medium actually) eggs, but wants nothing to do with the  nutrient dense yolk (I was the exactly the same way when I was a kid, but now am convinced it was because of the 20 minute boiling that would turn the yolk into chalky sulphery grossness. Please don’t do that to yourself of your children.) I have the ultimate solution that I’m sure a lot of you have already figured out but in case you haven’t:

SMOOTHIES!

Yep, blend it up with a banana or blueberries (just don’t overdo it on the sugar) and wait until after they drink it to tell them what was in it.  Some things I like to throw together are bananas, blueberries, kale or spinach, avocado (this makes it super creamy and takes the place of yogurt or milk as well as being high in healthy fats), I may even sneak some liquid lemon flavor cod liver oil in there. 

Another thing is kids are very into the way things appear.  I once made roasted sweet potatoes, cut into 1 in cubes. He wanted NOTHING to do with it.  Then one day I made them into fry shapes and he ate them up.  We also like to pretend food is other things, broccoli is of course trees for the dinosaur or giraffe to eat, fish is fish trying to escape a big shark from eating it, etc. 

Have fun with your kids and their meals.  It doesn’t always have to be torturous.  We don’t have to shove food down their throats that they don’t like but starting them early on a healthy and balanced diet is key to future health!

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