March 9, 2012

How We Get EJ To Eat Veggies and Fruits

EJ eats broccoli. He says it's his favorite vegetable along with carrots and sayote. He actually says he "loves" eating vegetables. I am not sure if that is true but in all fairness to him, he eats most of the vegetables and fruits I put in his plate.

Like many other kids, vegetables are not high on EJ's taste buds' scale. I am sure if he has a choice, he would rather ignore the vegetables. So how did we get him to eat vegetables constantly?

1) The Talk. We tell him that eating veggies and fruits help him grow healthy, smart and strong. But this may sound vague at times. So we tell him about bad germs and good germs. We tell him that when he eats vegetables, the vegetables fight the bad germs inside his body, making him healthy. The thought of helping his body by eating veggies "fight the bad germs" is usually enough to make him eat his veggies.

2) Make it soft. When cooking with a vegetable dish only, I try to cook the veggies as soft as possible so it's easier for him to swallow. I am not talking about super mushy vegetables. EJ wouldn't like it as much he doesn't like crunchy or half-cooked vegetables.

3) Sauces and Dips. EJ likes it if he can dip it in a sauce like a mayonnaise. In fact he loves coleslaw! That's the only "raw" vegetables he can eat.

4) Lead by example. Hubby and I eat a lot of veggies. In every meal that I cook, there's always one veggie dish. So EJ is used to seeing his parents eat vegetables.

5) Continue introducing new veggies or cook the vegetables in new ways. Variety is the key. When it's same-old, same-old dish, it becomes boring and bland so I try to cook veggies in different ways. When I make fried rice, I usually put veggies like corn, green peas, carrots, broccoli and even tomato. It's an easy way for him to eat a lot of vegetables! Another tip, cucumber tastes so much better when cooked. I usually sauté carrots, green beans, button mushrooms and cucumber in oyster sauce. And EJ eats it.

We don't have much problems with fruits because EJ already eat a lot of apple, grapes, mango, banana, papaya, strawberry, blueberry and lanzones (seasonal). He's not so fond of some fruits like pears and watermelon so he eats it sparingly.

As a parent, it is our responsibility to make our child/children happy and healthy. To do that, we can start by giving them healthy food. After all, a healthy kid is a happy kid.

Happy eating!