• How to encourage your child to eat more vegetables 13 March 2014 | View comments

  • Tips to encourage your child to eat more vegetables


    In the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of talk about how bad too much sugar and salt intake especially for children really is. So every parent has a desire for their child to eat a nutritious diet. After all, it’s what will help them to grow into the strong and healthy human that will be one of the goals of good parents.

    The trouble comes when the toddler years arrive and parents may not have quite so much control over what their child is eating. Other children in nursery are allowed crisps, grandparents who spoil them…your little cutie has tried a few unhealthy treats, and now they want more of ice cream, fried chicken and cheese cra
    ckers. But their interest in green vegetables may be regrettably non-existent.

    Fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins and nutrients that will provide your child with a protective immune system and will also help them to grow as they should. But how do parents encourage their toddlers to chow down on those vegetables? Here are some tips to encourage more eating of the green stuff for even the pickiest of eaters:

    • Presentation goes a long way. Children are more likely to eat plates of food that look fun and exciting, so therefore present fruits and vegetables in that way. You can arrange the foods in an arty way- for example, create images of faces, vehicles, butterflies, dogs etc. Anything that will grab the attention of the children.

    • Hide vegetables in the food. You can put grated carrots into Shepherd’s Pie or other minced meat dishes and they will be practically undetectable. Quite often, just cutting up vegetables into small pieces can make them look all that more approachable, whether you hide them or not.
    • Explain to them why vegetables and fruit are so important. Children understand more than we think. It might be difficult to reason with a toddler but the more often you repeat that this is really good and healthy and makes you strong.. the more likely it is that the message will be heard (one day).
    • Give a reward. Give them a ‘carrot’ for eating that carrot. You can offer a little reward in exchange for a clean plate. Once they build a habit to eat their vegetables then it will become easier. They will then eat them whether there is a special reward to look forward to or not.
    • Set a good example. Show them that you eat vegetables and that it’s so that you can remain strong and healthy. You could also explain how it helps you to feel good, helps you to look good and be strong.
    • Humans are born with a natural suspicion towards foods that they are not familiar with. Scientist say that it can take up to 5 presentations of vegetables for children to get familiar with them, so just keep trying. It’s best to start early by offering vegetables to your baby. In that they get familiar with the different tastes early on.

    By using these tips, you should be able to encourage your toddler to eat more vegetables.





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