Out of ideas on how to make kids eat more veggies? Try these 4 simple tips….
Get them to cut, clean and chop a variety of salad leaves. Think other greens, i.e. cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, spinach, mushrooms, avocados, beetroot. Throw in some chopped fruits, nuts and seeds for added texture and flavour. Don’t forget the dressing. Humble olive oil, salt and lemon can transform dull leaves into truly yummy salads.
Children love the crunch of raw veg: use chopped veg for dipping or make lettuce tacos (use little gem or romaine lettuce) with fun fillings such as sliced vegetables, chicken, ham or cheese. If you little one refuses to eat raw, try boiled, steamed, mashed, roasted, grilled, blanched, sauteed, braised… Pour their favourite dressing/sauce on top… Favour ‘creative ways’ versus ‘sneaking veggies in’. Vegetables change their taste depending on the way you cook them so I have no doubts your child will like one of them!
Variety is key. Common sense: the less frequent a vegetable is eaten, the more chances your child will develop a dislike for it. Cook dishes that are loaded with veggies such as stir-fries, vegetables soups, curries and grain salad dishes (i.e. cuscus, tabbouleh, quinoa, rice). Increase to 2 or 3 the number of veg side-dishes and pack in extra veggies in your stews, pies and sandwich fillings.
Do not give up in the face of rejection. In a review in 2015 of fussy eating in children published in the journal Appetite, it was recommended to present small tastes of rejected foods on at least ten separate occasions!