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We have all been there.
How do I get my child with type 1 diabetes to eat their veggies? They love their fruits, but the veggies is where I am having trouble with…
Momma, I get you and I totally understand where you are coming from. I have been there, and at times I am STILL there with you.
I remember as a child, I never liked my veggies. Only when I grew up, is when my taste buds, started like more the taste of vegetables, and now I love them.
However, this does not stop me from trying to get my type 1 diabetic child to eat them and try them.
How to encourage kids to eat vegetables
There are a couple of ways that you can encourage your child to eat their fruits and veggies
1. Read A Story
Most kids love stories! So let’s take this opportunity to teach your kids about fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating through books!
Here are a couple of books:
2. Play Games
Kids learn while playing and actually doing activities physically. What better way than to play games with them!
You can do sorting activities with or a sensory bin where they need to find and guess what veggie or fruit they have on their hands.
3. Go To A Farmer’s Market
What better way to teach your child about were our food comes from, than visiting an actual Farmer’s Market!
Get ready for the visit. Make a mini-lesson plan on the activities, vendors, and events that are going to happen at the Farmer’s Market or Health Event of your choice.
Sit down with your child and come up with questions about how the fruits and vegetables are planted and sow. I have no question that the farmer will explain to your child how the food is done.
4. Make A Fruit and Veggie Art Projects or Crafts
- If you have old cooking books or magazines, make a collage of healthy plates that your kids can eat, or at least want to have a taste test.
- Have your child draw, color, and paint fruits and veggies.
- Create clay fruits and clay veggies, which are great for those fine motor activities if your child is a little one.
5. Cook with your child
Incorporate your child into cooking in your home. This can help them in become more curious about the different foods that can be available for them.
Show them the different types of vegetables and fruits there are and come up with your own yummy recipes!
6. Plant a Garden
Have fun under the sun (or shade) and talk about the fruits and vegetables you are going to be growing together!
Have your child make a plan on being healthier this year with this activity
It will teach them about creating good habits and staying away from bad habits.
Teaching the Importance of Fruits and Vegetables
With every activity indicated above, you are teaching your child about the importance of fruits and vegetables in a fun way.
The important thing is to tell your child that fruits and vegetables give us much our much need vitamins, minerals and energy. It also helps manage their glucose levels better
The Best Vegetables for Diabetics
The best vegetables for diabetics are the ones that are lower on carbs. Yes, vegetables still have carbs, not as much as fruits or refined carbohydrates, but they still do give a boost in sugar levels.
Some vegetables are:
- fenugreek leaves
- green beans
The Worst Vegetables for Diabetics
The worst vegetables for diabetics are the ones that are higher in carbs.
Some of these high carbs veggies are:
- butternut squash
It’s not that you cannot have your child eat them. You just need to take into consideration that it will provoke a rise in glucose levels and you need to be ready for that. Everything in moderation is my motto.
Track how your child reacts to certain foods with this food log
We all want our children to eat as “normal” as possible. By using this food log, you will be able to track what foods raise your child’s sugar and when.
How to Introduce Vegetables to your Child with Type Diabetes
1. Mix veggies in
- Mix veggies into their favorites meals.
- Mix them into their favorite pasta sauce.
- My favorite way is to mix them on strawberry/banana smoothies!
2. Continue to Introduce
You need to constantly introduce and re-introduce vegetables. It’s said that a child needs to be presented with the new food about 12-30 times before he/she decides to try it.
3. Present it in a Fun Way
Make fruits and veggies look kid-friendly, fun, interesting, and interactive. This can promote your child into trying new veggies and fruits! Appearance is important, so let’s make it fun for them!
Why do kids hate vegetables?
In the current culture that we live in right now, where everything is sugar, sugar, and more sugar, our taste buds get distorted.
This causes our bodies to think that having foods that are very sweet is normal. Therefore, when our kids taste vegetables, they feel that they taste funny and bitter. Also, they might not look very appetizing to them, reason why we need to make it the most appetizing possible for them to capture their attention.
Remember to offer, offer and offer again.
Try to not get mad, plead or have a length discussion, if your child does not want to try new vegetables or fruits. Move on to another activity and try another day.
Read stories that promote healthy eating, and do fun activities where these healthy foods are seen as a normal part of your lives.