8 studies that give answers to how you can make kids eat vegetables and fruits

Does your kid hate vegetables? Do you want to make them eat the vegetables without forcing them? Let me help you by giving you these proven advice from experts on how to make kids eat vegetables and fruits.

Don’t ask your neighbors anymore, how will I get my child to eat more vegetables? These tricks will make your kids eat vegetables and fruits easily even if they hate them.

If you are a parent you absolutely know this or if you are one of the kids who grew up hating on vegetables and fruits, maybe you are still struggling to adjust and start loving them now.

How to make your kids eat more vegetables and fruits
Credit: Gustavo Firing from Pexels

You should have no regrets because I’ll show you how and you will be able to change that.

First you should know that vegetables are very healthy and they are important to children’s healthy lifestyle journey.

There are a lot of importance such as protection from diseases like cancers. I know no one love to get sick. That is a fact. Aid in constipation, healing chronic diseases and a lot more.

But the other thing you should know is how to eat vegetables to get the best out of it. Everything about vegetables is important, so you should not give up to push your child to take them. Just don’t force them, but change kids with tactics.

So., let’s get at it.

How to make kids eat vegetables and fruits everyday and healthily

1. Make them eat a variety of vegetables and fruits

Vegetables originate from different species of plants so there is no reason to eat the same type everyday. So why is this worth considering?

This research was published in the journal of nutrition education and behavior where young children were studied by comparing the way a single and a multiple vegetable system affected their vegetable intake.

Curious to know which one was effective?
Of course it was the multiple vegetable plan that worked.

Single vegetable intake proved a boredom among children and encouraged them to put more hate on the vegetable but multiple vegetable intake proved a success and it is an easy method that you should try.

2. Plant more vegetables and fruits in your home garden.

Do you have a garden in your backyard? If yes, that’s a complete solution. The saint Louis university did a study on children who ate home grown vegetables and those who did not.

Guess what? The children who ate home grown produce were more than twice likely to eat five servings a day than the one who didn’t have a home garden.

Debra Haire-Joshu, PH.D, the study author, said

It was a simple, clear finding. Whether a food is homegrown makes a difference. Garden produce creates what we call a ‘positive food environment.’

Not only planting them for your kids to eat but also allowing children to practice gardening and planting their own vegetables and fruits will encourage them to consume their own harvest. Done.

Ways on how to make kids eat vegetables and fruits
Credit: Maggie my photo album from pexels

It is a way to get your child to eat more veggies through their own effort while you rest.

Reference: Saint Louis University. (2007, April 19). Children Eat More Fruits And Vegetables If They Are Homegrown. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070418163652.htm

3. Pay your child to eat more vegetables and fruits

It is crazy, right? Actually I thought so too. But believe me it is a very effective method for making your kids take more vegetables and fruits.

It does not have to be money but giving children rewards encourages them to eat more veggies. Who doesn’t put an effort when there is a gift behind the task given?

This study suggest this technique to have been helpful.

If you have many children maybe announce a contest and who finishes their vegetable plate receives something as a trophy. You will be surprised by how the kids eat off their plates.

4. Add a sauce to a vegetable meal.

Add a side dish to add more flavor to the vegetables. And because kids love sweet tastes, take it as an advantage to get your child to eat more veggies.

One experimentation had shown that most children are sensitive to the bitter taste in vegetables. So if that’s the case, adding a small dressing to go with the vegetable meal can help to improve the results.

This study, published in the Journal of the American dietetic association studied 152 pre-school aged children with broccoli intake. Adding a dip increased the broccoli intake to 80% among the bitter sensitive children.

You just have to prepare it in a fun and sweet way or maybe decorate the plate with more greens. That way works best.

5. Increase the amount of vegetables and fruits in a meal.

Adding the size of these foods proved to be effective in making kids consume more. It was a research done on elementary school children during lunch meals.

It proved to be a strong strategy and since it worked at school you can also try doing this at home. But don’t try this step on its own.

Because children hate vegetables so much, you have to incorporate other techniques too so that they can adapt the technique easily. It might be difficult but as their acceptance builds up keep adding the portions for the better. And on top of that, vegetables are cheaper.

Reference: Miller N, Reicks M, Redden JP, Mann T, Mykerezi E, Vickers Z. Increasing portion sizes of fruits and vegetables in an elementary school lunch program can increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Appetite. 2015;91:426-430. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.081

6. Add spices during the preparation of fruits and vegetables

This research was done as a way to help adults eat their vegetables. I put this up, to help those who grew up not taking vegetables until they have become adults.

Spices helps to add more flavour to the vegetables and since spices are healthy, there is no restrictions.

How to make kids eat vegetables and fruits

Cassandra Nikolaus, a researcher in the study, says

If we can make things more appealing based on spices and herbs and flavors that people are more prone to appreciate, they may choose to eat more vegetables because they enjoy what they are consuming.

7. Serve vegetables and fruits first.

What is the first food your kids take when they are on the dinning table? Okay, you don’t have to answer that. But the next time you serve meals, vegetables should be the first thing they eat.

This research was done on students in school and as they waited in line they were served with bell pepper. So they had to take it, opt for another vegetable or leave it.

The results were amazing and many students started taking more vegetables.

You have to try this on your kids and maybe you will say, wow, I should have known this earlier.

Reference: Elsbernd, S L et al. “Serving vegetables first: A strategy to increase vegetable consumption in elementary school cafeterias.” Appetite vol. 96 (2016): 111-115. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.09.001

8. Encourage them to take fruits and vegetables juice or smoothies

Juice is a product of fruits and vegetables when blended and filtered.

Of course doing this can make you miss some nutrients like fiber but on this research it is shown that taking juice daily can cause the drinker to reach the recommended vegetable and fruit intake level.

That is because you still benefit the other nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins.

If you still want to get that fiber, don’t filter it. You know what I mean, the smoothie.

That should be helpful to your child and an easy way since kids love juice.

Reference: Benton, David, and Hayley A Young. “Role of fruit juice in achieving the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake.” Nutrition reviews, vol. 77,11 829–843. 4 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuz031

Wrapping up!

Until now, if you read everything and did your own trial research as to what fits, your child should be taking enough vegetable and fruits. Easy! Right? Do let me know down in the comments what worked or any new way you have, to benefit all of us visiting here.

Also parents need to provide nutritional education to kids. Although it is likely they won’t listen, you never know. It might work so best of luck and make your kid take more greens.

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Hi, I am a radiation therapist who loves writing about health, beauty and fitness. I also like book reviewing and socializing with people. Hope to share ideas and experiences with you.

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