Getting kids to eat more fruit and vegetables can be a tricky task but there are plenty of ways in which to get even the most fussy of eaters to enjoy their recommended five-a-day.
Getting kids to eat fruit and veg can be tough; especially when one in five children refuse to touch the stuff in the first place. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, consuming a balanced diet that’s rich in fruit and veg is extremely important for growing bodies and minds. Parents with fussy kids needn’t give up at the first hurdle, however, as there are plenty of ways in which you can get your child to eat more fruit and veg and enjoy it too.
The first step to get your child to enjoy fruit and vegetables is to lead by example. If you’re a fussy eater yourself, the chances are your child will look to mimic behaviour or see it as acceptable to refuse certain dishes. Enjoying fruit and vegetables as a family builds a child’s confidence and interest in food as well as nurturing their creativity in the kitchen in later life.
Many parents find that it takes more than verbal encouragement to get a child keen on fruit and veg. In cases such as these it pays to be creative, which means exploring the different ways in which you can present fruit and vegetables to kids. Smoothies are particularly popular among children and great fun to make too. Some children might be put off by the idea of eating fruit salad but if the equivalent is whizzed up into a colourful liquid the transformation often sparks intrigue and genuine enjoyment.
Furthermore, as children many adults will remember the phrase ‘don’t play with your food’. For some children, meal times can be a formal affair that encourages boredom and bad behaviour. Encouraging children to ‘play with their food’ is one way to add the fun back into dinner time.
Getting kids to help serve food by decorating their plates with carrot sticks and other colourful goodies makes fruit and vegetables more than just food but a play thing too. Getting kids involved in packing their own lunch boxes is another way to put the fun back into food; whether it’s throwing lots of tasty ingredients together to make a delicious salad or decorating some fibre-rich oat biscuits for that sweet – yet healthy – snack.
Don’t let your child miss out on the vital minerals and vitamins needed for health in later life; start growing their love of fruit and vegetables today and they’ll be sure to thank you for it in later life!
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