The number one question mum’s ask me:
” How do I get my kid to eat more veggies”
Mums are literally talking about this topic everywhere! I hear it with my health coaching clients, casually mentioned at preschool pick up, debated at swimming lessons and shared in mothers groups. Because lets face it, who doesn’t want their kid to eat more veggies. We feel, as parents (especially mums) that it is our job to ensure our kids are well fed! I think most of us can reliably say that we don’t have an issue with our kids not eating enough refined carbohydrates, fruits or dairy. No, the culprit here is the humble vegetable.
Well I’m here to tell you first of all, You’re doing a great job! Yep I’m going to say it again because i don’t think you really heard me the first time and I’m sure you told get told this enough! You’re doing a great job. Making sure our little ones are fed, dressed, bathed, stimulated & educated, whilst also trying to run a household/go to work/insert any other life responsibilities, is a tough gig. We are all doing the best we can, the best way we know how.
Ok great so now that we’ve got that out of the way lets look at some practical tips for getting more veggies in your kids diet.
1. Sneak them in but say their name – I’m not a huge fan of ‘hiding veggies’ but I know how picky kids can be with textures/smells/colours. So although I may add in extra veggies to pack a nutritional punch to our meals, I always make sure I tell my kids what I have put in there. For example, when my 3 yr old’s smoothie gets served up to her for breakfast, it’s smooth, delicious and vibrantly coloured…all the things kids love. AND as she is drinking it we talk about all the ingredients that have gone in. i.e “See that green colour.. that comes from all the spinach we added to your smoothie. Or “Can you taste how creamy that feels in your mouth, that’s the avocado we popped in”.
2. Smoothies – Speaking of smoothies…these have got to be my favourite way to boost my kids veggie intake. We drink smoothies almost every day at our place and love to try new flavours. Smoothies, rather than juices, have the added benefit of containing tons of fibre. This helps aid digestion, keeps tummies feeling full for longer and keeps blood sugar and insulin levels steady. (This is super important as a way to balance our child’s energy levels and avoid sugar spikes and crashes) Click Here to get our smoothie recipe book
3. Put it on a pizza – what kid doesn’t love pizza? how about going vegetarian for this one. capsicum, mushrooms, roast pumpkin..all delicious toppings. Also try using whole tomatoes, blended instead of store bought tomato paste. keeps the base from being too dry and also add’s to the whole food vegetable content of the meal! (tip: avoid using too much cheese on top. little tummies often react to too much diary and the fat content in processed cheese can be insanely high! Try using a good quality parmesan or sprinkling with nutritional yeast for variety.
4. Add cinnamon to your roasted veggies. Cinnamon has the ability to give any food a delicious sweet flavour and has the added benefit of being powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Try adding this amazing spice to sweet potato wedges, roast pumpkin and cauliflower and watch your kids gobble them up! These are a great addition to any child’s lunchbox!
5. Make it fun ! Ok so I know we don’t all have the time and creativity to make gorgeous character inspired vegetables!
However, 2 minutes of extra effort may save you 30 mins of the back and forth struggle you have at meal times. We try to serve our veggies the way the kids like to eat them. Miss 3 loves the mash…so we mash! Potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peas you name it. She is also partial to a dipping sauce as she sees adults do this all the time. Try offering some tahini in a small bowl, next time you serve up broccoli.
Well I hope I have inspired a few ideas for you and I look forward, as always, to hearing your thoughts. Do you have any other great tips on getting your kids to eat vegetables? Please share in the comments section below or over on the Facebook page. I promise you, other mums will be grateful!