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How to make kids eat veggies in the restaurant

Children are notoriously averse to eating vegetables. Many parents have tried all sorts of methods to cajole their kids into eating their veggies with varying amounts of success. If getting children to eat vegetables at home can be so difficult then how much harder would this be in a restaurant? At home you can be quite stern in this regard but at a public restaurant you can do no such thing. That veggies are important is not in doubt; the question is how to convince kids to eat them without a struggle and especially when you are eating in a restaurant. There are a few tips that can make this easier though.

These days there are many restaurants where kids eat free on Saturday and these establishments usually prepare special menus for children. Your children may not like the veggies on the menus and more so if they have been blandly and unimaginatively prepared. In fact, one of the reasons why children dislike vegetables so much is because parents are not creative when preparing them. There is no point trying to force your kids to eat such vegetables. Instead, what you can do is to request the chef to prepare the veggies in a special way, and this if a restaurant where kids eat free on Saturday can agree to do so. Even common veggies can be prepared in a way that they will look exotic and the kids will be eager to try such 'new' vegetable treats. Veggies can be stir-fried and mixed with spices and this will no doubt appeal to even the fussiest of kids.

Children learn best through modeling; kids are more likely to do as you do rather than as you say. As such, do not admonish them to eat their veggies while you the parents have none on your plates. When you are dining in a restaurant order a small portion of vegetables for everyone so that the kids can see that you too are eating veggies. If parents are eating them, the kids will do the same. A powerful trick to make kids eat veggies is to reward them with something else that they love. For example, if you promise to buy them ice-cream but only after they have eaten their vegetables, they will eagerly eat up so as to get the ice-cream.

A restaurant is meant to be a fun place and so don't attempt to coerce the kids into eating vegetables because this will make them dislike veggies even more. Indeed, kids are more likely to eat them if they are already enjoying themselves.


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