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15 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

15 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

After a busy day, you want to serve a tasty meal you know the whole family will enjoy. But you also want to make sure your kids are getting their recommended three to five portions of veggies. Problem is, as every parent knows, convincing your kids to eat their veggies isn’t always easy.

Well, here are 15 simple ways to turn even the most stubborn veggie refuser into a veggie lover.

1. Make it fun

Okay, you’re tired and hungry so I’m not about to suggest you recreate the cast of Frozen using vegetable shapes. But presenting food in a fun pattern or smiley face takes seconds and delights little ones. After all, who could resist eating a carrot nose or a smile made from peas?

2. Help yourself

Often when kids refuse to eat something, it’s simply because they want to feel in control. So give them the power to choose at mealtimes by presenting veggiess in serving bowls and let the kids help themselves. They may surprise you!

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3. Let’s get cooking

When kids have helped prepare a meal, they are more likely to enjoy eating it.  My toddler loves cutting mushrooms and tomatoes with her special safety knife. Mixing, stirring, serving; it’s all fun for kids.

4. Earn a star

Okay, not everyone agrees rewards for eating vegs are a good idea. After all, eating healthily shouldn’t be seen as a chore to be endured. But for some kids, earning a star for trying a new food or for eating three different types of veggies each day can be a big motivator.

5. Hit the shops

Let your kids help with the shopping. They will love learning about the different fruits and veggies available and you can let them choose a new ingredient every time. They’ll then be eager to try the produce when you get home.

6. What would Iron Man do?

When I was a child, my parents told me to eat my greens so I would “grow up strong like Popeye”. Now, it doesn’t really matter who your kid’s favorite character, celebrity or sportsperson is; the idea is still the same. Tell your kids their superheroes eat their veggies and they’ll be eager to do the same.

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7. Choosing is fun

Dig out your favorite recipe books, or take a look online and let your kids choose recipes themselves. Again, it’s all about letting them feel in control. They are more likely to eat a dish if they’ve helped to choose it.

8. Eat the rainbow

The great thing about veggies is they really are interesting. Talk to your kids about the different shapes, colors and textures and encourage them to eat as many different colored foods as they can. You could even create a chart so they can tick off the different colors they’ve eaten each day.

9. Grow your own

A great way to get kids excited about vegs, is to let them grow their own. Even if you only have space for a couple of pots or a window box, kids can grow carrots, salad leaves, tomatoes and more.

10. Invite a friend to dinner

Isn’t it strange how kids’ behavior changes when they’re with their friends? You can use this to your advantage. If your kids have a friend who loves to eat veggies; try borrowing them for the evening.

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11. Grow up strong

Often we tell kids to eat their veggies but forget to tell them why. Rather than simply saying “because they are good for you”, teach kids about the different vitamins found in various ingredients so they can understand how vegetables keep us fit and healthy.

12. Novel names

Whether it’s Percy peas or cucumber spears, kids love giving silly names to ingredients. Fun names also make vegetables seem less daunting for kids.

13. Make it interesting

If your kids find veggies boring, try serving them in different ways to make it more interesting. For example, carrot sticks can be served upright in a beaker rather than flat on a plate. A plate with different sections is also a great way to bring interest to mealtimes and can help kids feel less overwhelmed than by seeing a mound of veg on a traditional plate.

14. Mix it up

If there’s a vegetable your child claims not to like, try preparing it in a different way. For example, if they don’t like boiled carrots, you may find they love grated carrots. Don’t like cooked mushrooms? Try eating them raw instead.

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15. Don’t make a fuss

Don’t turn mealtimes into a battleground; if your child really doesn’t want to eat something, don’t force them. If they sense that food gives them power, they will continue to refuse to eat certain things.

It’s not always easy, but take a relaxed approach and remember; you can always try again tomorrow.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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