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10 top tips to help get your children excited about eating fruit & vege’s

Last week, I introduced my good friend and expert on ‘getting your kids to eat fruit and veges’ Lucy Thomas.  Lucy hails from London and was one of the big players on the recent ABC documentary Fast Food Baby.  She worked wonders on introducing a child that has never eaten fruit or vegetables to actually eat and enjoy them!
The post last week talked about her experience on the show and how we as parents can allow our own fears and habits to dictate what our children eat.  This week, as promised I am sharing with you Lucy’s top 10 tips in getting your children excited about eating fruit and vegetables

1.      Don’t force a child to eat a meal that they don’t like. This will make them like it even less! Instead, take the time to talk about and explore the components of the meal away from the table.

2.      Prepare a child for what’s to come on their plate. Children are suspicious if they don’t know what they’re eating; even if they are told how good it is for them.

3.      Never ask a child to eat, try or taste anything. Get them to explore the food by asking them to kiss, lick or crunch it instead. You are not tricking your child, merely asking them to engage with food in a more interesting way. If you ask your children who can do the loudest crunch in their celery they are more likely to bite it and see, than if you say “here try some celery it’s really good for you!”

4.     Involve a child in the whole process. Take them shopping and touch the produce and explain where it comes from.

5.      Let them help you cook and be really involved.

6.      Get a little messy. Let them squash a tomato or squeeze an orange while you are cooking.

7.      A good way to explore vegetables that are disliked is to explore them raw and cooked. Many children do not enjoy the pungent smell of cauliflower, especially if overcooked, but small crunchy raw florets with hommous or a dip are delicious and very palatable.

8.      If you’re weaning your baby, a baby’s taste buds develop and change at an alarming rate and are most receptive between the ages of 7 and 12 months. Keeping a baby’s food bland for too long can result in shocked reactions to stronger flavours.

9.      For children over three years introduce reward chartsfor enjoying five a day. Younger children will enjoy an immediate reward of a sticker on their top for participating. You can download a free chart from the Taste for Life website www.tasteforlifenursery.com

10.  CHILDREN AND BABIES ARE GREAT IMITATORS, SO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE!

What are some of the cards you pull out at dinner times when the kids are fussy?

Do you think these techniques will come in handy?

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