4 ways to introduce more fruit and veg into your child’s diet
In this guest blog, Jane Rylands, from kitchen appliance retailer Belling, suggests how we can introduce our children to more fruit and vegetables — even the fussy eaters!
Integrating more fruit and vegetables into your children’s diet can be challenging, especially if you’ve got a family of fussy eaters. In this article, Jane will be giving you four ways you can encourage your children to eat more of the good stuff.
Be creative with meals
Children have creative minds, which means a colourful, creative meal is likely to seem more appetising to them. Be imaginative with your presentation by including a range of different colours and arranging them in interesting patterns, like a face. This way, your children will see eating vegetables as something to enjoy, rather than something they need to be coerced into doing.
You could even have a ‘fruit or vegetable of the week’ that you try to incorporate into each meal. This will encourage them to try new things, as well as giving you a chance to get more creative in the kitchen.
Make healthy food swaps
An easy way to add a bit more fruit and veg into your child’s diet is by swapping some of their favourite foods with healthier options. Instead of chips, which offer very little nutritional value, make carrot or sweet potato ‘chips’ instead by cutting them up and roasting them in the oven. Or, you could make carrot and swede mash, which is a much healthier addition to your Sunday roast in place of mashed potato.
Swap your traditional jacket potato with a sweet potato, which is just as filling but rich in vitamins B and C. These vitamins are important for healthy brain, cell and bone development, so they’re very important to include in your child’s diet.
When they’ve finished their meal, it’s time for dessert, and what child doesn’t love sweets? You can swap unhealthy snacks and desserts for fruit. Try making smoothies and freezing them for a healthy alternative to ice cream in the summer.
Hide fruit and veg in meals
If your children are fussy eaters, encouraging them to eat more fruit and veg can be a bit more challenging, especially if it’s something they’ve never tried before. Try hiding vegetables in soups and sauces by pureeing them or chopping them finely, so they can still get the health benefits without the tantrums. You could even hide vegetables, like carrot or courgette, in sweet treats like cakes.
Grow your own
Why not try growing fruit and veg with your kids in the garden? Your children will be more likely to eat something if they know they’ve spent the time growing it with you. This will also give you the opportunity to teach them about the importance of plants and will even help you to reduce your carbon footprint.
By following these simple tips, you can easily encourage your children, and yourself, to eat more fruit and vegetables.