- Relax around veggies. Fruit offers many of the same nutrients as vegetables, so if your child is a big fruit eater and not such a veggie fan, don’t worry too much.
- Remember that kids are naturally slow to warm up to veggies. Many children are ‘supertasters’ which means they are especially sensitive to the bitter compounds in vegetables. This usually declines with age.
- Take the pressure off both yourself and your children through ‘neutral’ exposure to new vegetables. That means exposing them to a variety of foods (15-20 exposures is normal) with absolutely no pressure to eat. Even nice pressure such as bribes and cheerleading tends to backfire. Your child thinks: “If they have to do all that to get me to eat cabbage, it can’t be good.”
- Show that vegetables are a pleasure rather than an obligation. It can take a few years to transform your children into veggie lovers, but sooner or later they will learn to like the foods they see you happily eating. Family meals provide your children with a supportive environment in which they can see you enjoying food.
- Tone down strong flavours with dips and sauces. Or try this creamy veggie soup: cook chopped broccoli (1 large head), 2-3 sticks chopped celery and one chopped leek in olive oil. Add 1-litre vegetable stock and 3 Tbsp red lentils, and bring to a simmer. Once soft, season, blend and serve with cream and/or cheese in mugs for an after-school snack.
If you feel like you need more help I am currently offering a 40-MIN one-on-one phone or Skype consultation for $85. Click the link below to find out more.
Jenny Boss, Nutritionist