RANT: 5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Veggies

Parents let their kids eat the scariest things.  Maybe they don’t know that things that are bright blue are loaded with dyes and artificial flavorings, or maybe they don’t know those things impact their children’s health.

If you have children in your life, PLEASE care enough about their health to make sure they are eating vegetables, even if you aren’t (though kids tend to eat what their parents eat).

Expose them to a new veggie each week (ahem, it wouldn’t hurt to expose yourself to new things too).

For the longest time apples, bananas and carrots were the only fruits and vegetables our kids ate because that’s all we bought!  I later learned that they love cucumbers, peppers, celery, melons, berries and will even eat leafy green sans dressing!  Who knew!!??

I don’t know that brussel sprouts will ever be a favorite, but hey….

So how do you get your kids to eat more or even try veggies?

1)  First, Explain to them how vegetables make their body healthy.  Vegetables’ bright colors are nature’s vitamins and nutrients that will help them grow, think and move

2) Consider, taking them to farms, farmer’s markets and stores and allow them to select the veggies they want to try

3) Include kids in the food cleaning, prep, and cooking which helps you and gets them excited about real foods!

4) If possible, have your kids plant veggies in pots and watch them grow, which will make them more interested and connected to the foods they are eating

5) Create funny faces with veggies on their plates


BONUS TIP: The best tip for getting kids to eat veggies…Serve veggies on their plates FIRST, while their main dish is still cooking.  When children are truly, hungry they will eat almost anything,  Initially, there may be a few days of fussing…

“But I don’t like [whatever new, unfamiliar thing is on their plate]”.

Vegetables are not a negotiation, just as wearing a seat belt is non-negotiable, this is their health we are talking about!  Eventually, like everything else they are exposed to repeatedly, these cancer-preventing, health-boosting, new foods will become part of their daily routine.

And most parents who cut out the packaged foods and increase the veggies see a dramatic improvement in behavior, asthma, eczema and even report cards!  Well worth a few days of fussing!

Choose restaurants that offer fruit or salad instead of fries on kid’s menus too!

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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