How to get your child to eat more vegetables?

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Children do not want to eat vegetables or if they do, they eat very little whereas their food rations always entail sufficient fibrous matters as needed. It appears that most mothers experience such circumstance while caring their beloved children.

Why Your Child Does Not Want To Eat Vegetables?

Research at the University Nottingham (UK) has shown, children under 3 years old loves bright and cheerful colors but since about 3 years old onwards they hate green. But nutrition experts at the Cambridge Center for Human Nutrition Research (USA) confirmed the child’s psychological fear of what is novel or what the parents have done that distract its attention. Besides, vegetables usually smell pungent and tasteless whereas they like what taste fat and sweeter. The colours of vegetables are usually not pleasing the child’s eye; many kinds of vegetables are fibrous and a bit hard for the child to chew. For all the reasons above the child does not want to eat vegetables. The parents themselves are not active in eating vegetables or when at meal they often lay the foods the child likes in front of the child making it think of vegetables no more.

Why Your Child Needs To Eat Vegetables?
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As mothers have known, vegetables, roots contain a lot of vitamins and fibrous matters necessary for the child’s nutrient absorption and development. Further, green vegetables also contain organic acids, alkaline minerals…Fresh vegetables also stimulate craving for food and influence the secretory function of the digestive gland, particularly clear in the kinds of vegetables with essential oil like parsley, dill, onion, garlic, etc. Eating vegetables will not only help the child digest well but also make it possible for the child to absorb other nutrients. Therefore, in each meal, the mother should add green vegetables to the child’s food rations.

What Will Happen If The Child Does Not Eat The Quantity of Vegetables As Needed?

  • Lack of vitamins: Vitamins are present in most kinds of vegetables, roots, therefore, a regimen short of vegetables would be likely to cause serious shortage of vitamins thereby directly affecting the child’s health and resulting in numerous problems with the teeth, eyes such as gingival bleeding, xerophthalmia, blurred vision…
  • Constipation: Children eating little vegetables are likely to lack fibrous matters thus causing inefficiency of the digestive system, decrease peristalsis stimulation and speed up the growth of harmful bacteria, destroy the environment favourable for the growth of beneficial bacteria… Children lacking fibrous matters are likely to suffer constipation, difficult, painful, burning stooling…

Readmore: Recipe for constipation during pregnancy

  • Risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases: The kinds of vegetables rich in vitamins C, E and beta carotene, such as carrot, mustard greens, basella alba, are very good for the body in interacting and preventing free radicals which harm the child’s cellular structure. Therefore, children eating little vegetables are more likely to acquire cancer and cardiovascular disease than other children.

Simple Ways to Get Your Child to Eat More Vegetables

  • First of all, look again at your child’s teeth. If your child does not have the sufficient number of grinding teeth to chew, you should cut vegetables, roots into small parts, mince, cook carefully… before feeding your child.
  • After 24 months, your child will have the full 20 milk-teeth but cannot chew vegetables yet, then what to do? So, try to feed kinds of roots first. For example, carrot, chayote, squash, wacky pumpkin, Indian taro, etc. cut in thin slices, cooked carefully to accustom it to these foods.
  • Right from the time your child is still very small, the parents should add green vegetables to the child’s daily weaning food by pulverizing or mincing vegetables, roots cooked with powder or soup on the one hand to supplement nutrients, fibrous matters which help the child digest well and on the other to accustom the child to the smells, colours of various kinds of vegetables, roots. Vegetables to supplement should be diversified, particularly the ones in heavy colours such as mustard greens, spinacia oleracea…It’s possible to use some kinds such as carrot, watermelon, celery… to grind to make juice shake for your child, it’s very good, particularly for the children who do not want to eat vegetables.
  • For children who are practicing or known how to eat vegetables, there should be a combination of vegetables, roots in various colours in order to attract their attention. In addition, vegetables, roots can be trimmed, cut into queer shapes, even the parents may hold eating and drinking competitions with many kinds of vegetables and the prizes are the kinds of things the children love.

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  • Let children do gardening which will not only enable the children to understand how to grow and harvest fruits, vegetables but also help the children be aware of the values and the importance of each kind of vegetable. Children also have the psychology for eating the vegetables grown by themselves.

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  • Call children to do cooking together and let them participate in preparing vegetables, roots with the parents. Those children who often help their parents in cooking will have the habit of eating wholesome foods and have a higher sense of self-reliance than other children, Therefore, let’s encourage children to assist their parents in such small works as arranging ball tomatoes onto plates, placing cucumber onto salad plates, mixing vegetables evenly… By doing so, children will have the chance of contacting a lot of kinds of vegetables, fruits and thus being very eager to enjoy their own “fruits”.
  • Encourage the family members to eat vegetables to stimulate and make the children to understand that eating vegetables is also as important as eating rice, meat and other foods.

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  • Should let the children accompany children of the same age group and with good ability to eat and eat well. At meal time, both mother and child eat together. It should be noted that the mother should prepare the child’s rice box in different colours and shapes for the purpose of attracting the child’s vision. When eating with the friends, if the child sees that its friends eat well and eat everything, including the kinds it does not like, it will imitate his friends.
  • Praise the child whenever it eats a kind of vegetable. Children often have the psychology of enjoying to be taken care of and praised for what they do by adults. Being aware of that, the mother should have words of praising, cheering when the child eats vegetables.
  • It should further be noted that the mother must not make the child eat vegetables by shouting, scolding or taking other drastic measures such as beating or threatening, since these will not but causing the child to be more antipathetic to the nutritious vegetable food. Apart from vegetables, the mother may feed the child other kinds of fruits so that it will absorb sufficient nutrients for the day.

Obvious are some ways to get your child to eat more vegetables which their parents should pay attention to when adding vegetables to their children’s daily food rations in order to enable the children to have all the nutrients necessary to grow stronger.

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