Are meal times a constant struggle? Do your children turn their nose up at anything green? Would they rather fill up on unhealthy treats instead of wholesome nutritious meals? If getting your children to eat fruit and vegetables is proving a challenge, get creative at meal times with these six top tips. They may even start to enjoy their vegetables!
1. Grow or pick your own
Get the children involved in the growing and picking of the fruit and vegetables. Now the weather is starting to get warmer, take them strawberry picking. Not only is this a fairly cheap way of keeping them busy for an afternoon, they may also be more interested in trying the fruit if they have helped to pick it.
Alternatively, grow your own veggies in the back garden and get the kids to help. Give them their own patch with their own vegetables and let them plant and look after their plot. Encouraging them to get involved may make the vegetables seem more enticing. Cook with your children and create a special dish for their home grown veggies.
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2. Cook with your kids
Get your children excited about food by letting them help you to prepare dinner. The smaller ones can wash and the older ones can help you with the preparation. Or cook a dinner such as fajitas and tacos where you can all assemble your own. Lay out plenty of vegetable fillings on the table and encourage your children to include some. This also works with pizzas, create your own pizzas and let your little ones choose their own toppings. Again, giving them the option to add healthy choices without being asked.
Shop for fresh fruit and vegetables at Waitrose and get £15 off your first shop as well as £5 cashback!
3. Hide them
If your child won’t eat veggies voluntarily, the best thing to do is hide them. Get them to eat more veg without even knowing. This is where you will need to get creative. Hide sliced vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers on a pizza or make your own sauces using vegetables. Anything with mince in such as lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise and pasta bakes are easy to sneak in added vegetables.
Try disguising vegetables as pasta and noodles with this spiralizer from Rakuten. Try using courgettes, potatoes and carrots. Mix in with normal noodles and tell your little ones that they are multi-coloured noodles. Buy from Rakuten for £29.49 and you will also get 3.5% cashback.
4. The one bite rule
Encourage your children to try different foods before deciding they do not like it by enforcing the one bite rule. If they do not want to eat their vegetables, ensure that they are at least taking one bite and trying them. Over time your children will realise what they like and will eat more than the one bite.
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5. Make soups and smoothies
What better way to disguise fruit and vegetables than to blend them up and serve as a delicious smoothie or bowl of soup. Why not make a smoothie for breakfast or make soup for lunch? This will help to ensure that they get their five a day. What’s great about soups and smoothies is that you can experiment with flavours and try lots of different combinations. You could also experiment and try making a green smoothie to get more veg into their diet. They will never know.
For five delicious and healthy smoothie recipes, check out our hub page here.
6. Give them variety
Giving your child a variety of different vegetables in an array of different shapes and colours will encourage them to eat more. If you serve them a few different options on their plate, this will give your child the choice of what to eat and they may surprise you and eat some of the vegetables without being asked. This way they have made their own choices about what they are eating. Serving vegetables with your child’s favourite food will also encourage them to give them a try.
Shop for your fresh fruit and vegetables at Tesco and you will get £12 off your first grocery shop when you spend £60 or more and you will also receive £5 cashback!
If all else fails and you cannot get your children to eat their veggies, you can always bribe them with dessert!