40 Ways to Play with Your Food.

Broccoli Battle? Stop Nagging and Start Playing. 40 Ways to play with your food from Don't Panic Mom #healthykids #fruits #veggies

  1. Try different textures: baked, broiled, roasted, grilled, pureed in a soup or smoothie, sauteed, in a stir fry, shredded, slices, cubes, etc.
  2. Make the table special once a week. Use colored napkins, napkin rings, candle sticks, fancy plates, etc.
  3. Name a fruit or veggie after a favorite movie character.
  4. Serve a novel color of fruit or veggie, like an orange bell pepper or purple carrot.
  5. Use pieces of fruit to make designs on whole grain pancakes. Have an “Art Show” and have everyone walk around the table to view. Take pictures with your phone and send to Granny or upload to Facebook.
  6. Read books about fruits and veggies.
  7. Use skewers, toothpicks, or cocktail forks to serve little samples.
  8. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes in whole grain tortillas, bread, or pitas. Works well with fruit and veggies, too.
  9. Have them look through a photo-heavy healthy cookbook or Pinterest board. Let them choose a recipe to try.
  10. Assign crazy names to veggies that make everyone laugh.
  11. Use the hype of a holiday to introduce a new grain, fruit, or veggie. For example, Frankenstein Fingers are baked sweet potato fries.
  12. Use celery, carrots, potatoes, or other sturdy veggies in painting projects. Getting used to the veggies on the table without any pressure.
  13. Pick out a new fruit or vegetable in the store.
  14. Go on a scavenger hunt in the produce section for specific shapes, colors, or sizes of fruits and vegetables.
  15. Have a blindfolded taste test.
  16. Serve fruits and vegetables with different dips.
  17. Have them decorate a pizza with shredded veggies like carrots, zucchini, or spinach.
  18. Even if you don’t like Brussels Sprouts (or another veg)- let your kids try it without influencing their tastes.
  19. Serve varying sizes of foods, like mini whole grain muffins or jumbo piece of broccoli. Novelty is fun.
  20. Eat it together. Exaggerate your “yummy” noises.
  21. If they love dinosaurs, learn about what herbivores like to eat. Pretend to be dinosaurs together eating dinosaur trees (broccoli) or a Brontosaurus feast (spinach salad).
  22. Design patterns or create letters out of sliced or chopped fruit or veg.
  23. Go on a date to the grocery store and give them their own basket and a budget of $5 for fruits or veggies.
  24. Let them sit on your lap and try it from your plate. They will think it’s really cool.
  25. Serve whole grain waffles and play tic TAC toe or make a design in the grid.
  26. Have fun describing foods with fabulous adjectives like, “crunchy,” “tangy,” “creamy,” “juicy,” etc.
  27. Make purple oatmeal or cereal with frozen blueberries.
  28. Set out a tray with various toppings for oatmeal and let them design their perfect bowl. Include nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and shredded coconut.
  29. Call pepper rings, “pepper bracelets” and see if it fits on their wrist. Nibbling will probably follow.
  30. Ask Grandma or Auntie Suzie to help you “talk up” veggies. Sometimes it takes another trusted adult to make veggies seem awesome.
  31. Allow them to participate safely in meal preparation. Measure, dump, stir, etc.
  32. If they like a certain sports team, find fruits and veggies that match the team colors.
  33. Use a sticker chart to show how many new fruits and veggies they have tried.
  34. Keep a bowl of fruit out all the time in a place they can reach for convenient and healthy snacking.
  35. Think like an advertising executive. Describe the new food in a positive way.
  36. Think like a 7-11 executive. Where can you place healthy foods so that they are eye-level and convenient to grab?
  37. If they are learning about a culture or foreign country at school, prepare a traditional recipe. Great way to introduce new flavors.
  38. Allow them to sample from the cooking pot or cutting board. Make it seem sneaky, special, and secret.
  39. Host a smoothie party and invite friends to bring different fruits and veggies. Blend and Sample.
  40. Have fruit and veggies at every meal. Sometimes it takes up to 15 exposures for kids to accept a new food.

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Food is Fun

Alright pretty Mamas – What did I leave out? How do you help introduce your kids to healthy food without nagging? or tears?

1 Comment

  1. steve says:

    Or don’t put itself under any of that pressure and just always serve healthy food and tell them they decide whether to rat it or not and your not bothered either way. Over time if you are leading by example they will get curious. Just remove all pressure on them to eat vegetables etv for 3 years and watch the results

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