Have you got fussy eaters? Do you struggle to get your kids (or big kids) to eat their fruit and vegetables? Here’s some tips and tricks for increasing your family’s fruit and vegetable intake:
- Add vegetables to sauces like bolognaise or cheese sauce, once grated or blended up they can go unnoticed, check out our cheesy pasta bake recipe. Even if your kids aren’t fussy, this can just be a good way to increase intake.
- Be colourful. Use a variety of fruit and vegetables to add more colour to a meal. A variety of colours also helps make sure you’re getting all the different nutrients that fruit and vegetables have to offer. Aim to ‘Eat the Rainbow’!
- Encourage your child to smell or touch vegetables that they are unsure of. Getting used to them before eating will help improve the likelihood of them trying them later.
- Let kids play with their food. I know we’re all told not to play with our food when we’re young, but doing so can help kids familiarise themselves with foods and improve their chance of being eaten. Making art, such as fruit faces or building structures can be a fun way to do this.
- Bake them into cakes and other sweet treats. For some recipes, they can just be a good addition, for others they can be used as a substitute for sugar since they are naturally sweet, especially when cooked. Check out our carrot and sultana cupcake recipe.
- Serve your food in a creative way. Foods that look more appealing or are made into funky patterns are more of a hit.
- Show your kids pictures of fruits and vegetables to help them get more familiar with a variety of different ones.
- You could try growing some of your own fruits and vegetables as kids are more likely to try foods they have grown. It will give them a sense of pride and allow them to explore the foods with other senses like touch and smell before the food is ready to eat. Don’t have a garden? No worries, there’s plenty of foods that can be grown indoors, and in different seasons you can ‘pick your own’ fruits at local farms.
- Get your kids to help you cook. Same as with growing, if the little ones have helped to cook the food, they’ll be more willing to try it. Click here for tips on getting started.
Here’s some other useful resources for you:
www.vegpower.org.uk they’ve got even more great recipes, packed with veg, and plenty of free downloadable activities for your kids to do!
www.kidsinthegarden.co.uk have got some useful information about growing fruits, vegetables and herbs with your children
www.eatlikeachamp.co.uk has got more recipe ideas for you, and interactive activities for your kids
CHRISTCHURCH FOOD FESTIVAL EDUCATION TRUST: CHARITY NUMBER 1127292
BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY: MSC NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOUR: KATE