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Seven keys to make children eat vegetables without arguing

17 November 2014

“There’s no way my kid eats vegetables, and I don’t know what to do!” Do you recognize yourself in this sentence? We know it. Parents who ‘fight’ each day with chards, peas, cabbages and lettuces are legion. We have no secret weapon to win this battle, but we’ll try. Ready? Here’s our tips:

1) Let’s play! Play with colors and presentations. If you prepare your “boring” orange pumpkin cream adding a yellow smile of olive oil and a pair of golden eyes made of toasted bread, spoonfuls may come easily into their mouth. At least, there will be more smiles on the table.

2) Childish illusions. Switch “carnivore” ingredients with vegetables. Today for dinner we’re having… stuffed eggplant steak! Substitute pork loins with eggplant sheets and stuff them with melt cheese and ham. Once breaded and cooked with extra virgin olive oil, they will taste even better than the original recipe.

3) Happy couples. Mix ‘green stuff’ with rice or pasta. Drop a few beets, some carrots or a handful of peas in one of those rice or pasta recipes they love. If this trick does not work, you can add them to the sauce.

4) Their favorite. Add some of their favorite ingredients to a salad or a vegetable soup. Some sunflower seeds or a few cheese dices, for example, will make a great difference. Something “green” will fall into their mouth or, at least, some extra nutrient, which never hurts.

5) Not more chips. Accompany meat and fish with vegetables. Leave the potato chips for special occasions, restaurants and family reunions. Start with a sweet preserved tomato or some green fried tomatoes. And see what happens…

6) Paint and color. If tips above do not work try to fry different vegetables as if they were chips: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, cassava… A colorful, fun and easier trick than you think. Just cut into thin slices and fry them in a pan with hot extra virgin olive oil until they are crispy. If you dare not, look for them in some stores. They are easy to find though you’ll have to watch if they’re too salty.

7) Let’s eat together! Turn them into ‘Super-healthy monsters’. All these tips are summarized in one: eat with kids, and eat the same as them. If you devour a plate of vegetables, so will they… in the end. 😉

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