Updated: Jun 19
Simple ways to encourage your children to appreciate the importance of vegetables
Many families struggle to get their children to appreciate (and eat) vegetables, yet they are essential to your child's growth and development. We always get asked if we have any hints or tips on how to encourage a love for veggies. I'll admit, it's not an easy task.
One of the best ways is to start introducing vegetables as early as possible into the diet once you are feeding them solids. Many find that this makes them appear 'normal' and therefore a pea or piece of broccoli doesn't stand out like a sore thumb!
“children don't like the 'look' of the vegetable and they've made their mind up before they've even put it in their mouth!”
If you are past that point and your child just simply refuses to eat any mushroom, tomato or courgette that's put on their plate, you can still smuggle the offending items into their diet so all the nutrients are digested.
Often the problem is that children don't like the 'look' of the vegetable and they've made their mind up before they've even put it in their mouth! Simply making it fun by creating a face on their plate, or playing some sort of game (especially with younger ones) has often worked for me.
If it's a real no, no then you need to get creative! Add green vegetables, carrots and leaves such as spinach to a tasty fruit based smoothie. The sweetness of the fruit will want them begging for more.
Also adding some avocado into smoothies will give it a rich creaminess whilst also providing some essential fats, potassium and vitamins including C, K, E, B5 and B6. It is also a low carb friendly plant food. Little known fact alert - they have more potassium than a banana which is an important nutrient most people don't get enough of, young or old and it's linked to reducing blood pressure.
Sneak some cauliflower (and sometimes you can get away with swede or carrots too) into mashed potato. Alternatively i've found these Waitrose cauliflower hash browns a really tasty alternative.
Kale chips. So quick and easy to make plus the kids can't get enough of them as they are a great crisp alternative! Just melt some coconut oil on a try, lay out the kale, add a good sprinkle of salt, pop in the oven and in 12 mins you have a tasty snack that everyone will love!
So next time the children complain you've got a 'monster' pea or veggie on the plate, get creative!