GETTING THE CHILDREN TO EAT MORE VEGGIES

WE’VE RECENTLY had half term, and this has resulted in some bad habits creeping in to our routine. Less fruit and veg, more reaching for the bad snacks and unsatisfying empty calories of crisps and quick snack.

Today I was talking to a lovely friend of mine, and we got on to the subject of food (we often do!) and she told me that her daughter has started to eat salad. When she was younger, her mum always had a side salad with her food. She decided to get her veggie intake up by doing the same, encouraging her children to initially have cucumber and tomato with their dinner, and eventually adding lettuce, shredded vegetables and lemon dressings. Today, she added pine nuts!

After a period of time, after watching mummy eating her eating her side salad, the children joined in. And now it’s a daily ritual, and they eat salad every day as part of their dinner.

This made me think about ways to encourage children to eat more veggies in their diet. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Eat more yourself! Follow my lovely friend’s example, and have a side salad every day. Eat more fruit and veg and stay away from the nasties.
  2. Be sneaky…try blending vegetables in to sauces. When they polish the lot off, talk to them about the ingredients. Next time, blend them a little less.
  3. Don’t offer crisps and unhealthy snacks at snack time. Give them healthy choices like a piece of fruit or a home-made granola bar and they can make a selection from a good choice.
  4. Limit snack times to one after school, or two maximum during the holidays. Set clear times e.g. 11am and 4pm to set expectations on when snacking is ok.
  5. Try making your own snack bars. There are lots of healthy fruit bar/granola bar recipes online or you could try out our recipe for fruit winders. This can help limit sugar intake too.
  6. (yes I know I said 5!! but be consistent. Consistently offer good choices, buy fruit and healthy snacks and make them when you can so you’re sure on what’s inside them.

Good luck!! 🙂 Tahlia X

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