Getting kids to eat a variety of vegetables starts with “thank you bites.” When tasting new foods for the first time, whether we are at a restaurant or at home, I always told my children they had to take a few thank you bites.
The vegetables and seasonings maybe different than junk food or what they desire initially, but we had discussions about thanking the farmer who grew the food, thanking the sun, rain, and insects for feeding the plants, thanking the earth for providing the minerals for the vegetables and fruits, thanking the truck drivers who brought the food to the grocery store or farmers market, thanking the people who work at the grocery store, thanking mom and dad for buying the vegetables, bringing them home, and preparing it deliciously. If at a restaurant, we are thanking the folks who cut, chop, and cook the food with love and passion.
Having consistent conversations about being grateful takes the food in a new direction. A few thank you bites may introduce new flavor profiles in vegetables that the kids never would have considered eating before.
I encourage my kids to pick out vegetables they haven’t seen before. They use the internet to find out how to prepare a recipe for the unfamiliar items.. Living in San Francisco, we have many ethnic grocery stores to experiment in! The kids are more open to trying and enjoying a variety of vegetables if the meal is kid-led and directed. I let my kids take the reigns and see what happens. Usually they are successful with expanding their horizons in food.
I hope this helps your families too.
-Author and Creator of the Superior Self series