Let's be real here, we all know the importance that fruit and vegetables have on our diets. But what do you do when your kids refuse them day in, day out?
Fussy eating is something us parents all face at some point, and for most, it's just a little phase. But at the safe time, can be very worrying for some. If you're looking to encourage your child to eat more fruit and vegetables, here are some tried and tested tips and tricks to help you out:
Have them readily available
When kids become peckish, they usually request high-calorie foods to keep them going until mealtimes. Try to keep fruits and vegetables washed, cut up and insight. Having fruit and vegetables readily available will encourage your child to grab and go when they want it.
Be a good role model
Allow your kids to see you opt for fruits and vegetables at snack time. By making good food choices, your children will most likely mimic your behaviour. And, remember to never force them to eat what you eat or criticize them for not trying. These are easy alternatives even for yourself to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Keep in interesting
Make food fun from time to time by adding fruits and vegetables to existing favourites. Add fruit to yoghurts and pancakes, top your cereal, make fruit skewers, and instead of offering carrot batons as a snack, try to offer cold, cooked carrots instead.
Get them involved
When kids see how much work is involved in preparing their meals and how it was cooked, they appreciate the effort a little more. Invite your kids into the kitchen and teach where their fruit comes from and how to prepare or cook it.
Buy in season
Food waste is a huge issue here in Ireland, and by buying in-season fruits not only will it taste better, but it will also cost less. Bring the kids to a local farmers market and let them help you pick your groceries.
Try frozen, dried and canned fruits
Fresh fruit can be expensive, especially when it's not in season, so why not consider frozen, dried or canned fruits and vegetables instead? Dried fruit like raisins, figs, apricots and dates make great snacks, while frozen berries work well in homemade smoothies.
Don't give up
It takes at least ten or more tries with any new food before a child is willing to accept it. Don't give up trying to encourage your child to eat more fruits and vegetables. It may seem like a losing battle, but I promise you, over time they will conquer the fear and eat more fruit and vegetables.