That moment when your children sit down on the dining table and find out their plates are full of beans, broccoli, and some leafy greens, that they begin to pout. Is this scenario during dinner time becoming more frequent?
Whether vegetarian diet is new in the family or your vegetarian kids seem not to enjoy most of their foods these days, it is probably time to change your way of feeding your kids. And oh, this does not suggest adding meat! So, how can you make vegetarian foods more enjoyable for your kids?
1. Understand what most children love to eat
Kids may not yet understand the essence of a vegetarian diet. Usually, they are into common foods, such as fries and burgers. Well, thankfully, you can make vegetarian burgers and sandwich with some potato or sweet potato fries on the side.
Since you want your kids to be very healthy and happy with their foods, but without the indulgence of meat, there are many burger and sandwich recipes for vegetarians that you can try. For sure, many recipes haven’t been served on your family table that can entice kids to grab them in seconds. Therefore, learn to prepare different meals that they will love. On that note, you also have to ask them what they want to eat.
2. Add more “meat” replacements to plates.
As far as protein is concerned, there is nothing to worry about. Many meat replacements contain protein. Do not just serve leafy greens and sliced veggies on the table. Add some bits of those meat-like foods, too. Your kids can surely find those meat alternatives to be tasty. This makes them complain less or moan no more about their foods. Other than the usual tofu slices and fried seitan, you must learn how to make soy nuggets, soy hot dogs, and nut or seed butters.
Before using nuts or seeds, be sure that your kids are not allergic. Many young children are prone to allergies due to nuts. Also, do not provide tiny foods, such as seeds and nuts, to infants and toddlers as they may possibly get choked. If possible, just grind them to powder form and sprinkle on top or add to their meals.
3. Serve foods with beautiful and creative presentations.
Do not forget that colorful and beautiful sights are important to kids. During breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you also have to present them with foods that can make them smile up to their ears, or even say “wow” with extreme joy. You want your kids to enjoy and love what is served on their plate. Aside from delicious flavors, presentation is one key to make that happen.
4. Fill glasses with a blend of fresh fruits.
Smoothies are on demand in kids’ favorite menu nowadays. If they do not like some vegetables, you can still make sure they get enough nutrients from fruits. Trust me they will just ignore sliced fruits in a bowl. Instead, make them drink a glass of blended fruits that contain essential vitamins and minerals. Add a little soy or cow milk to create a sweet flavor.
5. Avoid too much snacks.
It is common for kids to get hungry easily. What parents do is normally give them some snacks to bite with drinks. But the problem is that, if it’s meal time, they tend to eat less and not finish all the foods on their plate. The remedy here is to either skip giving drinks but water instead or limit the amount of snacks they eat. The hungrier they become, the more likely for them to eat all of their foods.
Many kids do really complain about their foods. But keep in mind that there are thousands of vegetarian recipes that you can prepare and serve to them. Hundreds of those will be among the favorites of your children. Just vary the kinds of foods and snacks you give them. Of course, the suggestions provided above can help you with this matter.
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