Getting your toddler to eat vegetables
Dietician Nicky McCarthy offers some tips for getting your kids to eat (and enjoy) their veggies:
- Vegetables often have quite complex flavours so children can take some time to learn to like them. The key is to try, try and try again.
- Be a positive role model for healthy eating. It’s really important that your children see you eating and enjoying vegetables.
- Tea time may not be the best time to be encouraging new foods because children are usually tired by then (as are parents!)
- Try serving veggies differently. Offer raw or cooked veggies as finger foods for a snack. Or at lunchtime as sandwich fillings: grated carrot and cheese or marmite and lettuce.
- Grow vegetables at home - Kids love eating veggies straight out of the garden. Some are suitable for growing in pots if you don’t have a garden.
- Involve your kids in buying veggies and watching or even helping you prepare them for eating. Their involvement may make them more likely to give them a try.
- Use positive peer pressure. She may be more likely to eat vegetables if she goes to preschool where there are other children doing so.
- Keep putting veggies on his plate even if you are sure he won’t eat them. They may go uneaten for a while, but one day he might surprise you!
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Food for thought
In her new book, ‘Healthy Little Eaters’, nutritionist and mother-of-three, Wal Herring, encourages parents to look at their own habits and attitudes to food if they want to instill good ones in their children.