I’ve had a few people look at my kids lunchboxes and immediately say: “My kid would never eat that”. Usually in regard to vegetables.
So here’s a few of my Tips to Get Your Kiddies Vegetable Happy
My 3 are pretty good eaters, but I have to say, its not all been smooth sailing. Each kid is different, with their own likes and dislikes and they all go through phases where they eat certain foods, then don’t. It can be so frustrating! But, some good techniques at the dinner table and lots of positive experiences around food will turn things around.
1. Keep it fun. Meal times need to be a positive experience so children have a healthy relationship with food.
2. The One Bite Rule: One bite of a new food and then they can leave the rest on their plate. It takes the SCARY out of trying new foods. And remember: it takes up to 10 tries for kids (and adults!) to get used to new tastes and textures. So keep serving it up!
3. Get kids involved as much as possible, with choosing, preparing and cooking meals. Not only will they learn valuable life skills, but they are more likely to accept food and eat it, if they’ve had a hand in making it.
4. Put vegetables in their lunchbox! Choose ones they like and put dips with them like, hummus, peanut butter, cream cheese, salsa or pate.
5. Buy some Funky vegetables. Purple Carrots are our family favourite and at $2.29 a kilo, they are wallet friendly. They taste similar to normal carrots, but look cooler and when eaten raw make the kids tongues go black and purple. So they are a total winner! You can buy all sorts of purple veges: kumara, cauli, broccoli, beetroot, potatoes…. If your local Fruit and Veg store don’t stock them, ask them to!
6. Grow some veges in your garden or in pots and flexi tubs by the back door.
7. Be a Good Role Model. Eat with your kids as much as possible. Eat the same foods. Man up and eat your veges!
8. When encouraging your kiddies, avoid the “or you won’t get dessert” and try stooping to their level. Eat your garlic or the vampires will eat you. Broccoli is great, it makes you fart. The All Blacks eat mushrooms, its how they get such big muscles. Onions give you bad breath, it’ll stop the girls from kissing you.
Can you think of any other strategies to get kids Vegetable Happy?