Learning to Love Veggies – @my.little.food.critic
If your little one won’t eat their veggies, you’re not alone! Some love them but others just aren’t interested. Making small changes and adding vegetables in different ways, over time will hopefully lead to them enjoying a wider variety.
It can take a lot of time and effort(!) to develop a taste for vegetables, this includes cooking them in different ways, adding different flavours and keeping up with the exposure.
I’ve put together a list of simple ideas to encourage your little ones to try a variety of vegetables in a fun and engaging way. Being consistent and persistent is key, some children need to be offered a food over 15 times before trying it.
Top tips to eating more vegetables:
1. Create a positive attitude around veggies by leading by example! Role model eating and enjoying vegetables. Watching you enjoy food at mealtimes is powerful and encouraging.
2. Get them involved with the shopping! It’s a great opportunity to talk about different vegetables and perhaps let them pick one they’d like to try. When they feel involved in the process it can spark their interest to give something a go.
3. Serve new vegetables/vegetables they don’t enjoy alongside favourite and familiar foods without any pressure. Keep the serving small as you don’t want to overwhelm them.
4. Add flavour and texture! Roasting, steaming, and adding a range of spices to enhance the flavour can really make a big difference.
5. Use cookie cutters to make veggies fun! New and interesting shapes can really spark their interest and encourage them to try something new. For older toddlers you can even get them involved in using the cutters to help prepare their food.
6. Get your little ones in the kitchen! Even touching, smelling and playing with vegetables counts as an exposure. When they are helping to cook and there is no pressure to try something, they might surprise you! Cooking together also allows for opportunities to discuss why our bodies need different types of food and how they help us to grow.
7. Keep it fun! Give veggies silly names, mini trees are far more exciting than broccoli! It might sound silly to us, but it’s super fun for kids! You can ask them to come up with different names for vegetables.
8.Add vegetables to foods they enjoy, for example, if your little one likes smoothies – add in some spinach or cauliflower.
9. Give them a choice! Kids feel so empowered when they have a say! For example, asking would you like carrot or peas with dinner. Or letting them pick what veggies they’d like on their pizza.
10. If you little ones enjoys dips, serve veggies alongside for dipping and dunking!
Most importantly don’t give up! Be consistent and persistent!