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I grew up in a very health conscious family. My mother and father always ate organic and practiced good nutrition. I, however, was a major rebel. I preferred to eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cups over kale, and I didn’t like vegetables.
So I can understand that it's sometimes difficult to get children to eat properly. My parents were very clever in their strategies to get me to eat vegetables: they made green juice and smoothies!
This is one of the major reasons why I still drink them to this day. They never forced it on me; they always just came up with ways to convince me to drink it.
I called them up to ask what strategies they used. Here are their tips:
1. Make it sweet.
Use oranges to make it sweet, and then add only one vegetable, such as spinach. Then slowly add more and more vegetables. Once a child gets used to it, he will drink it.
2. Tell them that their favorite actor or athlete drinks green juice.
My father was a martial artist, and we always watched Bruce Lee movies together. So he'd tell me that Bruce Lee eats this particular vegetable and then put it in my juice. By the time I was in high school, I was drinking green juice on my own.
3. Introduce it at random times.
I was really stubborn, so I know they tried several times to introduce me to green juice. Some days, I would drink it, and other days, I wouldn’t. Keep trying different recipes until your child likes it. Eventually she will.
4. Don’t make it a big deal.
If you introduce it off and on throughout the week, your child may change his mind and enjoy drinking it.
5. Tell them about the health benefits.
I was very stubborn as a kid and didn’t listen when my parents told me why green juice was good for me. But now that I’m older, I realize that knowledge stuck with me.
6. Have family meals together.
By sitting down with children, you can instill good habits into them. If a child see their mother or father drinking green juice and eating healthfully, this will greatly influence their dietary habits.
That said, I’m now a pretty health conscious person.
I’ll admit that I’m not perfect and still occasionally eat junk food… But, I eat healthy 90% of the time. I have to give a lot of credit to my parents for giving me these habits.