Eating fruits and vegetables is essential for everyone to be able to have a healthy diet and fuel the brain, especially for kids. The problem lies in trying to actually make your children eat them. Thus, the following creative ways can help you get your kids to love eating their fruit and veggies.
1. Mix vegetables and fruits into their favourite meals.
Try substituting zucchini noodles with their favourite pasta sauce or using cauliflower as a pizza base. When it comes to fruit, you can also add fruit to savoury dishes, such as making a chicken and orange casserole. It’s all about being creative with the fruit and vegetables that you have.
2. Dip their fruit and vegetables into something.
Usually, dipping is a fun activity for kids which they tend to enjoy, even if it might create a mess! Try letting them dip their sliced apples into peanut butter or their carrots into homemade hummus.
3. Take your children with you when you go food shopping.
Put them in the fruits and vegetable section and let them pick any fruits or vegetables that they want. This will be a bonding experience for them, as well as allowing them to be in control of which foods they want to eat.
4. Avoid having chocolates and sweets at home.
If your child doesn’t see them then they will learn not to look for them. Their only option would be to eat a fruit or vegetable as a snack.
5. Blend fruit and vegetables into smoothies.
Making colourful smoothies which taste good will be appealing for your child to try out. Try mixing different fruits or different vegetables and see what new smoothies you can come up with!
6. Make it look more appealing.
Use cookie cutters with different shapes to make them look fun to eat.
7. Work with your kids to find a compromise.
For example, let them eat a piece of chocolate if they eat a whole fruit or some veggies. If they say they don’t like it because they never tried it, they still need to eat at least one bite before deciding if they like it or not.
8. Involve your kids when it comes to cooking.
By being able to help you cook, they can see what is going into their meal. They will also feel proud for helping make the meal want to eat it.
9. Be a role model.
Children model our behaviour and if they see you eat your fruit and vegetables, they will learn to copy you.
10. Have them readily available for your kids to spot when they feel like a snack.
Leave colourful fruit bowls on your dining table and your vegetables showing in the fridge. By time, these will become their go-to snacks.
Getting your kids to start loving their fruit and vegetables won’t be easy. However, trying some or all of the above will surely be the first step to it!
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues, such as general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with children with anxiety and day to day stressful problems.
- Klosz, E. (2019). 10 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Fruit. Consumer Reports. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/healthy-eating/easy-ways-to-get-kids-to-eat-healthy-fruit/.
- Kendrick, S. (2018). How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables | 10 Easy-to-Use Tips. My Southern Health. Retrieved from https://www.mysouthernhealth.com/getting-kids-eat-fruits-vegetables/.
- Shelton, J. (2018). 10 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. 5 Minutes for Mom. Retrieved from https://www.5minutesformom.com/134788/10-fun-ways-get-kids-eat-fruits-vegetables/.
19 Ways to Get Kids to Eat (and Love) More Vegetables. Lizs Healthy Table. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.lizshealthytable.com/2018/04/02/19-ways-get-kids-eat-love-vegetables/.