Mamas & Papas Magazine December/January 2016July 11, 2016
Your Baby – September 2009August 3, 2016
GETTING YOUR KIDS TO EAT MORE VEGGIES
As parents, we all know that eating vegetables and fruit is very important for one’s health, immune system and digestive system. The same principle applies to children. Children should be eating half a plate of fruit and vegetables with their meal. Statistics these days are showing that only 22% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are getting their daily nutritional requirements. This is quite frightening as it may lead to obesity, heart disease, hypertension and even cancer.
The challenge parents find is getting their child to eat the required amount of fruit and veg. Therefore we have listed many ways to try and achieve the above. One method may work, or trying 10 of them can work, or doing some of them simultaneously. It is up to you as a parent to attempt these methods and see what works best for your child.
- Give your children a colourful variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as different textures and tastes. She/he will determine which ones they like and which ones they don’t.
- Make sure that you as a parent are eating your own vegetables in front of your kids, as kids learn from their parent’s actions. Children like to copycat what parents do, and if you eat the vegetables, they are more likely to do so.
- Come up with cute names for the vegetables, or even ask your child to come up with their own nick names for them. Children will find this amusing and fun, and will probably try these vegetables.
- Give your child raw vegetables and dip for them to dip the vegetables into. Another positive aspect is that the dip has some good fats which help with the absorption of Vitamin A and beta carotene.
- Introduce veggies and fruit at an early age. For example feed your child mashed bananas, or vegetable puree. Then as the baby grows up, introduce more solid vegetables.
- Go shopping with your child and let them chose which vegetables they want. Then cook them together with your child and then your child is more likely to eat them because he chose the vegetables and helped to prepare them.
- When your child says they are hungry, give them vegetables and fruit cut up in small pieces, and even put dip or low fat dressing on them. This can be an appetizer, and the child will eat it because they are really hungry. Get them while they are hungry!!!
- To ensure your child gets the necessary fruit intake, make them a smoothie with lots of fruit and some low fat yoghurt. Yum!
- Sneak vegetables into his/her loved food, or add some cheese to make it taste nicer. Make pizza with vegetables, lasagna with veggies, a muffin with carrots or puree vegetables to put into soups or stews.
- If all else fails, bribe! You could tell your children that if they eat their vegetables they will get dessert or a prize. This will motivate them to eat their required amounts of fruit and vegetables.