Are you wondering how to get your family to eat more vegetables every day?
We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?
I know that I keep an ’emergency pizza’ in the freezer – sometimes it is just not easy to get vegetables at each meal. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food.
If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on a bag of crisps or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli.
So we’ll have to get creative.
How to get fussy eaters to eat more fruit and vegetables
Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet:
Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yoghurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure.
Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yoghurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.
Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yoghurt-covered raisins in your partner’s lunch box and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves dried raisins in their breakfast.
Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.
Have a salad bar at dinner. This is a great way to get your family to eat more vegetables. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.
Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Make an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favourite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.
Try this for dessert: Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yoghurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit or berries. My personal choice is blueberries.
Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes.
Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with a dip. And of course, there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).
Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.
Make a pot of vegetable soup, ratatouille, or a stew that’s heavy on veggies. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.
Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise, they lose a turn and you get to pick.
Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.
So that’s how to get your family to eat more vegetables. Simple, right?
Now that everyone in the family has a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available, in sight and ready to snack on, while at the same time keeping the sugary treats out of sight.
I hope these tips have inspired you to encourage your family to eat more whole foods, vegetables and fruits. and to make some small changes in your life.
Just so you know, I help sedentary professionals who work long hours find time for themselves so they can lose weight, improve their nutrition feel more confident.
Many of my clients benefit from simple diet and lifestyle strategies, and if you’re tired of dieting and quick fixes, then you may be interested in working with me. Please learn more about my online personal training packages, how I work with clients here and if you’re ready to talk you’re welcome to book a consultation.
Thanks for reading!