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This is often the main concern that parents express when I am seeing a family for the first time. And parents are surprised when I am not shocked or concerned. Now, this might surprise you that a dietitian is not concerned that children are not eating vegetables but when it comes down to it, kids have no reason to want to eat vegetables. And to this point many adults do not want to eat vegetables.

I have had families voice their concerns about their kids not eating vegetables and then when I ask the parents how often they eat vegetables, there is silence in the room. One mom mentioned that she eats a salad when she is out at a restaurant…sometimes. We all know that vegetables are good for us, there is no disputing that, but how do we actually” get” kids to want to eat them. My advice is TO EAT THEM YOURSELF, enjoy them, prepare them in a variety of ways with a variety of seasonings. Offer them roasted, raw, steamed, or grilled. Offer them plain or mixed into foods.

The main two jobs that parents have regarding vegetables are to offer them often and eat them even more.Your job is not to tell your kids how good they are for them or how they will provide lots of nutrients. Kids know we want them to eat their vegetables. You can ask a child to try a bite of zucchini if they are willing, but you will have more success if they see you really enjoying eating grilled zucchini. If they get to help grow it, even better.

We are our children’s best models. They look up to us and if you are eating vegetables, your kids will eventually eat vegetables too.