We all know how essential vegetables and fruit are for your health. But, trying to get your kids to eat their greens is easier said than done.
There’s also a biological factor behind why some kids really struggle with vegetables. Our tastebuds when we’re young are far more sensitive, especially to bitter flavours. This is because we haven’t yet learnt what plants are safe to eat—pretty useful when humans roamed the land and foraged—however less relevant today. But biology sometimes takes a while to catch-up.
As we grow up, we lose more and more taste receptors. Nearly half are gone by the time we’re twenty years old. Hence why suddenly brussels sprouts switch from being a bit repulsive to very tasty.
Nonetheless, a healthy diet is vital to your child’s physical and cognitive development.
Here are five tips to encourage your children to say yes to their five-a-day.
Tip 1: Get your kids into the kitchen.
The secret to getting your little ones to eat more vegetables and fruit is to involve them in the kitchen.
Get them chopping, stirring, mixing, and most importantly tasting.
By helping you prepare and cook food, they’re far more likely to want to try it afterwards. Also, being in the kitchen will expose them to not only more ingredients but help them better understand how food is prepared.
Tip 2: Eat together as a family.
Think of mealtimes as a family affair where you sit round a table together. It’s tempting, especially if you have fussy eaters, to cook separate dishes for everyone.
Instead, put out a selection of ingredients or dishes.
Here's an example of a dinner idea: pasta in tomato or vegetable sauce, a bowl of vegetables like cucumber, broccoli, and salad. Also offer cooked and raw vegetable options. Or rustle up some jacket potatoes with lots of different fillings like sweetcorn, avocado and tomatoes. And let everyone help themselves.
Tip 3: Make snack options healthy.
When it comes to snack time, ditch high-calorie foods and replace them with vegetables and fruit. To make them more fun or attractive, you can cut them into shapes, or sneak them into other dishes—think muffins made with grated carrots or courgettes or cheese sauce with cauliflower.
Tip 4: Be a role model for your kids eating habits.
This means eating plenty of the green stuff yourself! Introduce weekly or monthly vegetarian days like meat-free Monday or use vegetables instead of meat in your favourite family dishes.
Tip5: Make mealtimes pressure free.
Remember, even if your child refuses at first to eat vegetables, keep offering. Make mealtimes pressure free. Focus on including vegetables as a normal part of your family life. For instance, have a fruit basket always full and available. Then encourage your kids to help themselves.
Also, children’s tastebuds change. What they couldn’t stop eating yesterday, today they hate. So, rotate fruit and vegetable options and have fun exploring new flavours and textures.
Here at Klearvol, our mission is to support you with the challenges of being a parent. Our Mumsnet awarded Klearvol inhalation capsules contain soothing natural aromatic oils such as Pine, Terpineol, Menthol and Thymol. Perfect for use night or day.
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