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Getting kids to eat their veggies can hard to navigate–especially if you hope that they’ll eventually enjoy them. Thankfully, giving children the opportunity to love new vegetables is not as hard as it can seem. With a few tips that allow you to give your kids autonomy with their food options, you’ll soon find them reaching for the veggies each meal.

Take A Field Trip

Visit a nearby farm; taking children on a field trip to see where fresh food comes from is an excellent way to get them familiar with fresh vegetables before they ever consider needing to take a bite. Many farms offer tours or family days. These tour days not only show kids the labor and love that goes into growing your food, but also includes activities and games. Consider taking your kids along for a fun day where they can bring home a souvenir in the form of a veggie to eat later.

Let Them Decide

As a child, many things are chosen for you. From when to sleep and where to play, adults set the parameters for the day. When it comes to food, giving your child a bit of extra autonomy can make meals fun instead of a battle of wills. Take a quick trip to your favorite grocery store or farmers market and let the kids decide what veggie they would like. Let them choose a favorite, or ask them to pick a new item they haven’t seen before. A great weekend activity, this can be an exciting way for parents to branch out and try a new recipe, and can give children the power of autonomy over their food. Just be sure to make it soon so your child’s excitement doesn’t waine. Making the food a week later and forcing them to eat it defeats the purpose.

Make Them Sous-Chefs for the Day

Kids love to help, and they love messy fun. Get them in the kitchen with you helping whenever age appropriate. Truly young children can assist with stirring and mixing ingredients, while older children may be able to cut soft foods or stir items cooking on low heat. Having children become active participants in the cooking process can make them appreciate the care that goes into meal preparation and get them excited about the end result.

Getting your kids to love veggies may be a slow process, but it doesn’t have to be a battle. With a few tricks of your sleeve, it can even be fun.

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