OK, we might be stretching the truth a little with the word love (!), but every parent knows that even if you have the most fantastic eater from day one, there is always a chance that they will become increasingly picky at mealtimes, especially where vegetables are concerned.
That’s because as children grow and become more independent their food choices are often where they like to choose their battles.
So, follow our handy hints and tips and hopefully it will be a battle you win:
- Hide them - this is a trick used by many Nannies and Parents alike, as kids often don’t even realise they are eating more vegetables. Pasta sauces and soups can be packed with vegetables that can be blended to make detection harder
- Give them as snacks - extra portions of vegetables as snacks make it much easier to meet the recommended guidelines. Children often love humous which is easy for kids to dip into with veggie sticks such as cucumber, carrots and peppers
- Drink them - Smoothies are a great way of getting healthy ingredients such as kale, spinach, carrots and fruit into your little ones. Serve 150ml of smoothie per child with a handful of ice
- Make eating fun - try and have fun by using colourful cutlery and plates that the children can pick out themselves
- Let the kids choose - now we’re not suggesting you offer a menu service but by allowing the kids to have a level of control over what gets put on their plate makes it more likely that they will eat it. Picking pizza toppings or building a salad or pasta bowl is great for giving kids responsibility from an early age
- Get them involved - kids love helping and you will find that they are more willing to eat things they have helped shop for and prepare
- Don’t give up - continue to introduce different vegetables and re-introduce those that they previously haven’t liked, as we grow we change our preferences
- Serve in different ways - try serving vegetables in different ways: warm, cold, frozen, roasted, steamed, sautéed, with dips and cut in different shapes
- Don’t make it stressful - the less attention and pressure you put on kids, the more likely they are to eat their vegetables and try new things
- Make sure they are hungry - now we’re not talking starving here, but hungry kids are more likely to eat so make sure you watch that there is enough time between snack and meal times