Yesterday morning on ABC radio I heard the well respected Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton talking to Red Symons on this topic. Rosemary was commenting on a study that has been done in America looking at paying children to eat their vegetables. “Quite a silly idea”, as she put it.
So how do you get your kids to eat their veg?
No 1. (as Rosemary said) – get your family to sit down at the dinner table and eat together! (even if dad can’t be there, Mum and kids should eat together).
No 2. Don’t feed your kids separate meals. Serve one meal that everyone must eat. If your kids complain they don’t like, don’t serve an alternative. Kids will not let themselves starve; eventually they will eat what’s on offer. Not cooking 3 different meals will also save you a lot of time and stress.
Rosemary also made the comment that in Europe and Asia, families sit down and eat together and they all eat the same food.
No 3. Kids often need to taste a food 10 times before they’ll find the taste acceptable. Kids have much more sensitive taste buds than adults and they taste the bitter compounds (part of what make veggies so healthy) in vegetables more acutely. Get them to eat just a mouthful of each type of vegetable and they can leave the rest. Once they have done this more than 10 times with a particular vegetable, you may find they start to eat it more often and without protest.
No 4. Try growing some of your own veggies and eat them raw straight from the garden (after washing of course!). Kids often prefer raw veggies and when they understand the process of how they came to be, they are more interested in trying them. Cut fresh veggies into sticks or small pieces and add to their dinner plate.
No 5. Do not eat in front of the TV. Kids learn from watching adults. The more veggies they see you eat, the more they’ll be likely to eat. If they’re glued to the TV, they miss out on this important process.
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