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Five Tips To Get Children To Eat Vegetables: Get Your Ten a Day!
Five Vitamin-packed Veggies and Fruits a Day: Healthy Eating For Kids
Are your kids like most kids – i.e., very unwilling to eat their greens? It's not an invariable rule, but certainly it seems with more kids than not, that it's a massive chore to get their ten a day, or even five a day, down their gullets. “I don't like it, I know I don't like it and I don't need to try it to know I don't like it,” is a stance that many a weary parent has come across!
So what can you, when you know the importance of healthy eating, but your child has yet to be convinced? Here are five top tips to get some healthy fresh vegetables into your kids' diet!
Yummy Fruits & Veg! Remember, Work With Their Preferences
It's always going to be easier to feed your kids a healthy diet if it's with their co-operation. Take a look at government charts of what counts as a daily portion of fruit or vegetables: you may get a few surprises! Fruit juice features on the list (although that's real fruit juice, of course, not just flavoured squash). Of course you're not going to want your kids to rely purely on fruit juice for avoiding scurvy, but it's still pretty useful to know!
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A Spoonful Of Sugar-sweet Sweetcorn...
It also helps to work with their preferences regarding 'regular' vegetables. Variety may be the spice of life, but if you know full well that your little boy doesn't count frozen sweetcorn as a 'proper' vegetable (because he actually likes it) then it's probably going to make a regular appearance on your menu plan!
In The Soup: Vegetable Soup, That Is...
Is it the texture of vegetables that your children object to? Do they enjoy smooth, pureed foods? Will they happily drink soup? If so then you can get up to all sorts of devious tricks. Perhaps they have sworn that broccoli will never pass their lips: but if it makes a discreet liquidised appearance in your hot tomato chowder, then I'm not going to breathe a word! That's just between you and your Magimix!
Hide The Vegetables
Pureeing vegetables isn't only handy for soup: you can use it in all kinds of sneaky ways! Smoothied broccoli in chilli, pureed carrots in shepherd's pie, liquidised mushrooms and peppers mixed into the tomato puree on a tomato 'n' cheese pizza... (if you have one of those 'tomato and cheese ONLY on my pizza' kids...). Lentils are great as they're an easy and cheap option. You don't even have to puree them: they turn to mush themselves as they cook down, and you get to stretch out all kinds of mince dishes with them (and undetectably!)
Save Money, Have Fun & Get Healthy In The Garden: Get Growing
One way to get kids enthused about the subject of vegetables is get them gardening! It's amazing how much more interesting a fresh tomato is to eat, when you've watch it grow from a small yellow flower on a weedy little plant grown from seed that you planted yourself. It gets them out in the fresh air, it gives them exercise, and there'll be general family hilarity, squeals over worms and bugs and pleasure in every crop.
Let's Learn About Healthy Eating
Perhaps you've found that an authoritarian attitude to your children's dietary habits isn't the most successful? “Because I say so” is never an effective motivational tool for adults: why would we think it would work on kids? If you treat healthy eating as a project you can share and learn about with your kids, you may find that their enthusiasm for the subject (and the meals) grows. 1 (Perhaps to the point where they begin to tell you off if they catch you eating junk!)
NHS Choices. "5 A Day: What Counts?" 18/12/2009 (15/02/2010). <http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Whatcounts.aspx>
Get Your Kids Eating Veg - Links!
- How Can I Get My Child to Eat Vegetables?
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Eat the Veggies!
- Getting children to eat more fruit and vegetables: ... [Prev Med. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI
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