Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post: Getting Children to Eat New Foods: St Patrick Loves Veggies

Today's guest post is from JDaniel4's Mom! As a former teacher, JDaniel4's Mom blogs about their adventures, meals and educational activities. We love reading about their activities and muffin tin meals! Today we are delighted to have JDaniel4's Mom guest post about making healthy meals fun! Read more about their adventures at: 
Reviews and Giveaways

My name is JDaniel4’s Mom and I blog at http://www.jdaniel4smom.com. I blog about the adventures we have growing by learning, laughing, listening and learning. As the mom of four year old boy, I blog about our daily adventures including eating, playing, learning, and life in general.  


Some children love to eat whatever you put in front of them. Some children find one or two things they love to eat and make them their go to foods. Some children used to eat everything and then decided to stop eating foods they had previously loved for months. There are still more who have children who it is hard to predict what they will eat. Those of us who have happy eaters really are the lucky ones. The number of families with children that eat what they have before them seems to be rare. 


One way to try to get them to eat veggies is to present them in a new way or form or variety. Below I have constructed St. Patrick’s head using a variety of vegetables. Some of them I knew go over big with my son and some that were new to him.
My son loves sweet potato French fries. He could eat them all day long. I decided to try a variety that was a little spicy and a different shape from the kind I have purchased before. The shape change didn’t throw him. Thankfully he doesn’t really care what shape his food comes in. I know there are many of you that have kids that strongly prefer foods be the same shape and texture every time. My son did care about the flavor, he really didn’t like the spicy flavor. I gave him some ranch dip to go with the fries and they became edible and actually enjoyable to eat.
Saint Patrick’s hat is made of Italian green beans. This variety of bean is thicker and a little harder to chew than the super thin French cut green beans or traditional green beans. Again it is a change in texture and visual appearance from the green beans I usually serve. I got lucky that he really liked this style of beans. My son actually asked to have them for snack later in the week. 


The hat also has large peas in its band. Peas can be tricky with my husband and my son. They both prefer petite sweet peas. These were tolerated but, not loved at my house. Tolerated is still good. It means he was still eating the peas.


The final food in the hat is spinach. My son loves spinach. He requested that I put it in the meal. I am so lucky that he thinks it is delicious. Spinach has so many wonderful nutrients in it.


This veggie creation went over well at my house. I hope that if you have children that are limited in the veggie consumption serving them vegetables in a new and different way will cause them to change this.