If you pay your child a compliment, it might encourage them to eat vegetables. Every child is different, so not all tips will work on all children. Try out the tips below and see what works for your child.
Tips for compliments
Pay a compliment for them trying a new food.
Why? When a child tastes a food, it is often enough for them to get used to its flavour. It doesn’t matter that they spit it out afterwards. If they know that it’s okay for them to just try it, they will feel less pressured and they will be more likely to have an actual bite.
Example: tell your child, “I can tell you don’t like it very much. Still, I’m happy you tasted it.”
Use body language.
Why? Your body language is often even more important than your words. Your child will notice. That’s why a compliment often works better if your child sees that you really mean it.
Example: give your child a thumbs-up or a high five if they’ve tasted something.
Give your child a little reward for tasting.
Why? By giving a small reward, you link tasting vegetables to something fun. That will give your child a push to taste the vegetable.
Example: let your child choose a sticker once they’ve tasted a vegetable, for example. Vegetable bingo is another fun way to encourage them to taste vegetables.
Why? Do you often use the words “great” and “fantastic”? Then your child might be less inclined to believe you. They often sense that you’re exaggerating straight away. Also make sure your child doesn’t start overeating because they want to be rewarded.
Example: you could say, “You don’t need to eat everything on your plate. Listen to your tummy. Is it telling you it’s full? Then you can stop.”
Doris, mother of Fabian (2 years old)
Fabian hardly ate vegetables. I felt I had tried everything, but he simply refused. A friend of mine has a daughter who’s a few years older. She told me vegetable bingo really worked. Now we make a bingo game with 7 types of vegetables we are going to eat that week. Once Fabian has tasted one, he can tick it off. If he’s ticked off all the vegetables by the end of the week, he can choose a toy. He doesn’t manage to tick off all the vegetables every week, but he’s doing better every time.
Keen to try vegetable bingo too? On this website you’ll find examples of bingo games that you can print. Of course you can also make your own with the vegetables you want your child to try.