Getting your preschooler to eat their fruits and vegetables is no easy task. In a world of self-confessed picky eaters, it can be all too easy for our meals to become bland, boring and repetitive.
With the fight against sugar and processed foods making the headlines now more than ever before, it's important to teach your kid the importance of a healthy diet in those important early years.
So, what are some creative ways to sneak those greens onto your child’s plate? Eating healthily needn’t be a chore. Here are five fast and fun tips to try at home with your kid:
1. Set an example
It’s no secret that your children watch your every move. Lead the way at meal times by making sure your plate always contains a balanced mix of fresh and tasty vegetables. Talk openly with your child about the importance of eating healthily and how food helps your preschooler to grow.
2. Sneak extra vegetables into pasta sauces
Start by cutting up tiny pieces of vegetables such as green and yellow peppers and adding them to pasta sauces. It’s easy to sneak in lentils, sweet potatoes, onions and carrots this way and over time, and as your kid gets used to them, gradually make the pieces slightly more substantial. Why not try this quick 5 veggie sauce?
3. Keep it colorful
Children love bright and eye-catching colors so don’t shy away from offering a mix of vibrant fruits and vegetables at mealtimes. Keep your fridge stocked with a selection of healthy snacks in all the colors of the rainbow and be sure to buy groceries in your child’s favorite colors. Your kid will enjoy the variety and can learn important lessons about shapes and colors while getting their daily vitamin intake to boot.
4. Dare to dip
Experiment at snack time by offering your kid fun and colorful pots of hummus, mild salsa and low fat ranch dressing. Cut up a mix of celery, carrots and cucumbers to make ‘dipping batons’ which your child will love to get stuck into. You can even make your own healthy dips using ingredients from around the house.
5. Serve a super fruity smoothie
Whizz together a combination of your kid’s favorite fruits to create a naturally sweet drink. Perfect for breakfast or a dessert, your preschooler can quench their thirst while enjoying their daily serving of vitamins and minerals in a matter of minutes.
Bonus Tip: grow your own fruits and vegetables in the yard to encourage your child to learn about the importance of sowing, growing and eating organic.
How do you get your kid to eat their fruits and vegetables? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.