Grow It Yourself: Getting Kiddies To Eat Veggies

SPONSORED: Many children aren't a fan of vegetables and it can be a stressful task to add them to their diet. Our resident nutritionist Betty O'Neill shares her top tips to make veggies more appealing and fun for your little one.

Brought to you by innocent
Our resident nutritionist Betty O'Neill shares her top tips to make vegetables more appealing to your little one.

Getting your kiddies to eat fruit and vegetables can be a bit of a challenge. On the other hand, maybe you have aced and they are chomping on a carrot as we speak - if so, kudos to you!
Nevertheless, what are the health benefits that are our precious kids are getting from their foods?
  • Calcium and Magnesium – Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
  • Iron - This is needed for healthy blood and normal functioning of all cells.
  • Vitamins A and C – Helps to keep our immunity and skin healthy.
  • Cancer Risk – Including a cross spectrum of fruit and veggies in your kids' eating regime may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
  • Fibre - This will help to keep your kids fuller for longer, aids regular bowel movements and keeps their digestive system happy.
Trying to get your kids to eat any fruit and veggies can be so stressful. I know for me I would stand on my head to get them to eat their food. (Clearly, that’s not going to happen with my flexibility!)
However, over the years I found out what works for my three kids. Therefore, I will share with you my tips:
1. Growing Your Own Veggies
Recent research has shown that kids are more likely to eat their vegetables if they grow them themselves and if they experience the joy of growing and eating their own food.
They also have a deeper understanding and connection with the science of veggies and fruit. It also helps to build their immunity, all that clay and soils between their little mittens is rocket fuel for their microbiome (good bacteria in their body).
You should check out the innocents big grow campaign, they encourage us all to get our hands dirty and grow some veggies. I love it! In addition, you could win a home growing kit for your kids. I love it!
2. Making Fruit And Vegetables Fun
I have seen this first hand with my three kids; when you make shapes with the veggies they gobble them up much faster. They make them look more enticing, colourful and appetising.
Try to colour code your plate, think sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash or even a rainbow of colours.
Don’t give up on the first sound of NO, their little taste buds change very often; also try them raw with a homemade dip.   
3. Hiding Your Veggies
I grate my veggies and it works a treat - they don’t even notice them. Alternatively, you could chop the vegetables ever so tiny. This will help to help to increase your kid’s antioxidant intake.
Another tip is to add veggies to smoothies. Try innocent smoothies - they are delicious and work a treat!   
4. Heroes
This is where your bribing techniques come into play. Your kids are probably mad about a sports idol, writer or cartoon hero.
I know my eldest son, Cian, is obsessed with rugby and if he hears the mention of Conor Murray eating broccoli, he wants to eat a truckload. Play them at their weakness. 
I hope that you find my tips helpful and if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! P.S. don’t forget the competition below…shhhhh don’t tell anyone!
Check out innocent smoothie's website to learn more about the Big Grow campaign with a chance to win a free growing kit. Each kit is packed with everything you need to grow your own cress, peas, or tomatoes at home. Good Luck.

Betty O'Neill

Betty O'Neill is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and a registered member of the NTOI (Nutritional Therapies of Ireland). She is extremely passionate about all things to do with food and nutrition.

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