"I'm not eating that" they say while looking at this alien vegetable on their plate!
It’s Healthy Eating Week this week, earlier on in the week I shared with you my Healthy Packed Lunch Swaps mini e-book, if you didn’t see it don’t worry you can download it here: https://www.subscribepage.com/easypackedlunchswaps
As a mum of three girls I completely get the struggles of making sure that they are eating enough fruit and veg, their school packed lunch has a healthy element to it and trying to get them to eat a healthy diet. As parents we know that most children turn the nose up at any kind of vegetable and looking at it like it’s this weird alien food from out of space! Even as babies I remember my youngest retching when I gave her some pureed carrot! Funnily enough it is now one of her favourite vegetables and I know if carrots are on her plate she will eat them. But how do we get them to eat a variety of vegetables not just ones they decide they like? Just for you I have compiled a list of easy ways to encourage our children to have a healthy diet, what I can't guarantee is getting rid of the look of disgust as some kind of foreign vegetable lands on their plate!
1. I say this all the time, encourage them to help you make dinner, lunch or even their packed lunch. Getting your kids actively involved in cooking and seeing what the vegetable looks like, even trying some of them raw is a great start. If they have helped you make a meal, they will be proud that they have helped and far more likely to try it! You can read my handy ways to get the kids helping in the kitchen here: t.ly/3SEs
2. Negotiate! “Yes, you can have a chocolate biscuit in your packed lunch if you promise to eat your cucumber!” This works a treat! “if you don’t eat the fruit, cucumber or carrot sticks in your packed lunch then you won’t have a chocolate biscuit in tomorrow’s lunch!” Maybe harsh but it works a treat! And she will even say to me mummy I did try them and ate most of them, but I just didn’t like them, or I didn’t want anymore. Which is fine as I’m happy that she has been willing to give them a go!
3. Be Sneaky! If they particularly don’t like something like onions for example, when making a tomato sauce for your pasta whizz it all up in the food processor, they will never know!
4. Soup is great way to hide those sneaky vegetables! Tomato or chicken soup always goes down well in our house.
5. Be consistent, I’ve started putting veg in a bowl on the table with dinner and saying they have to have some vegetables with their meal in order to have pudding (negotiating again) I ask them to take a few vegetables they like and ask them to try one different vegetable. I do this every mealtime and they are much better now, they will eat their chosen vegetable and they will try a vegetable that they don’t like or haven't tried. We have had a complete turn around when they have tried them too. (mummy win) So just keep it up and if there are vegetables left over make them in to a soup or whiz them up for a pasta sauce.
6. Grow your own! Why not have a go at growing some lettuce, potatoes or peppers, they are fairly easy to grow and great way to get the kids involved from the start! Kids love getting mucky so get them involved planting the seeds, watering them to see what happens.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and what your struggles are when it comes to getting kids to eat their fruit & vegetables so drop me and email and let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to download your copy of our healthy packed lunch swaps, these are easy swaps that you can make in your child's packed lunch. If you are not convinced they will go for it, try the negotiating method!