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I had a hard time yesterday trying to get my lil’ one to eat. If your lil’ one is anything like mine, then fruits and most vegetables aren’t their favorite foods. My daughter would much rather have other stuff to eat – bread, cheese, pizza are more preferable than telling her to eat bananas, apples, or broccoli. But, all studies point out that about half of what our kids should be eating are actually fruits & veggies. An article by CNN points out that “in a study of more than 6,000 kids and teens, about a third of vegetable consumption was fried potatoes (potato chips, french fries, etc.), and a little more than a third of the fruit consumption was juice — so if you don’t include those, the percentages get even lower. ”

Ok, so how do we get our lil’ ones to eat their fruits and veggies? Here are some recommendations:

– Try feeding them their least favorite foods when they’re hungry. I know that when my lil’ one is hungry, she’ll eat just about anything

– Shop for fruits & veggies with your lil’ ones and then have them participate in the cooking process. They’ll have fun and it’ll be easier convincing them to eat afterwards.

– Don’t serve anything else. Have your lunch (or dinner) be constituted of only veggies for the whole family, and try cooking them creatively. Recipe books for kids have loads of ways you can serve veggies in a fun way.

– Cut up fruits, place them on toothpicks and keep them on the living room/playroom table. It’s guaranteed that they’ll reach out for them and eat while you’re not watching. I myself only eat fruit when it’s cut up and easy to eat!

– You can always resort to bribery! Tell your lil’ ones they can have their candy, chocolate, or anything else they love to eat if they finish their veggies!

– Show them our old Popeye cartoons, he never fails to get kids to at least be curious about spinach.

Finally, never give up! Our lil’ ones go through phases when it comes to food, so, they might surprise you one day and actually like their fruits & veggies. Visit this HuffPost article and watch the attached video by Susan Stiffelman – she gives more advice on how to get your kids to eat their vegetables.

Good Luck!

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Image: Scientopia.org