Does your child shrivel or shriek at the idea of eating a vegetable? Mine do! Dinner is the least favorite part of my day! I hate the battle! THE BATTLE! Y’all, I feel like we are at war with our kids when we sit down to eat! My son (8 year old) has oral sensory processing disorder, and although I don’t mind preparing him a meal that might differ from everyone else’s, my three children who are younger than him are NOT okay with it! It’s hard to look at a plate of steamed veggies and wild rice when your big brother is munching on one of his go-to meals (you know, anything that doesn’t “look like” a vegetable!)
To help combat our problem, we’ve made it our goal this year to get him to eat vegetables before his birthday in June. Up until recently, he only eats romaine lettuce with dressing, sweet potato fries, or carrot cake — that’s as close to “vegetable” as he would go! But if I have learned anything over the past eight years of being his mom, I have learned that the MORE he is exposed to something, the more likely he is to try it!
How to Encourage Your Children to Eat More Veggies!
What am I doing to encourage my son to eat more veggies? I am using the same method our dentist and occupational therapists used to get him to brush his teeth: slow integration and practice. First, we started with including him in all aspects of grocery shopping. This allows for him to hold vegetables in his hands and get used to how they feel, see the colors, and smell them for freshness. To further keep them in the spotlight, I store most vegetables in a bowl on the counter. This helps him to remain acquainted with them.
Next, we tried letting him help me prep/clean our produce. We called it ‘vegetable dissection” at first. The first few times was all about learning and showing him what’s inside, what can be eaten, and where the seeds are found. His number one question is “are these seeds edible?”
After he started getting used to touching vegetables, I began asking if I could put a piece on his plate. Explaining each time that he didn’t have to eat it if he wasn’t ready. Sometimes this worked. Just making it this far has helped him learn to eat cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomato slices. (“Yeah” for progress!)
Once the vegetables made it to his plate, we started our final incentive: Noshi! Noshi is food paint children can use to dress up their plates and make eating ANYTHING more fun! It’s three different edible colors made from organic fruit puree (with no added sugar, salt or preservatives.) It is a condiment like maple syrup or strawberry sauce, except it comes in tubes – small enough for kids’ hands – that they can use to decorate their food.
My son instantly started using Noshi and never required any integrative techniques to use it (Score!!!)
How Noshi Helps Parents Combat Picky Eating
Entire meals can be prepared around Noshi for all of my kids! With Noshi, all I have to do is wash and slice fresh vegetables, provide my kids with an empty plate, and let them create their own edible masterpiece! My only rule is, “if you add it to your plate to paint, you have to eat it! Even if you make a BUG!”
A Noshi dinner is the one meal my whole family can enjoy. It allows for everyone to have FUN and eat delicious healthy food together. Making mealtime more fun is never a bad idea, especially if you have picky eaters. Give them a reason to want to come to the table, to look forward to mealtime, and to smile. Bring out their inner Picasso and encourage them to use their imagination. I don’t feel guilty about letting my kids eat their erupting volcano of veggies, adorable butterflies, or silly uni-brow faces! Especially when FUN is replacing our otherwise stressful evening!
Visit Noshi to learn more about their edible organic food paint!
Follow the hashtags #noshifoodpaint #noshiforkids #ColorMyFoodNoshi to see amazing Noshi creations on social media too!
Additional Disclaimer: I participated in this campaign on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers. I received Noshi Food Paint to facilitate my review, but my opinions and creative content are my own.