Helping kids make friends with veges
Health experts recommend parents and children make half of their meal vegetables. And while some parents find it a challenge to get their children to eat more vegetables, its never too late to encourage healthier choices.
Whichever way you try, children need a wide variety of vegetables to keep them growing and developing at their best. Take the stress out of the 5+ a day with these simple tips:
1. Get growing: From a small windowsill planter to a dug-over section of your lawn - there's always room to plant veges. Growing vegetables is a great way to make positive associations between growing and eating vegetables. Pop along to your local Farmers market or garden centre and buy seeds or seedlings. Encourage your children to be responsible for watering, weeding and other aspects of garden care.
2. Cool kids cook: Kids love the hands-on experience of helping prepare meals. This is a time for children to explore and learn about the many ways to cook with vegetables. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes with cooked or raw vegetables. Decorate their plates or use kebab sticks to make fun animal figures.
3. Be a model: Be a good role model for your kids - show them how easy it is to enjoy vegetables. Kids are more likely to try different foods when they see you eating a wide variety at regular mealtimes. Teach them about 'eating a rainbow' of different coloured fruit and vegetables for a strong and healthy body.
4. Set the table: Get everyone together at family mealtimes to help connect positive family experiences to eating healthy food. Discourage kids from eating their meals in front of the TV, computer or Ipad as this is linked to physical inactivity and childhood obesity.
5. Make veges fun! Kids love fun and games - teach children about the health benefits of eating different vegetables. For example, "carrots make your eyes healthy and strong - they can help you see in the dark just like Batman".
For more articles like this check out the Healtheries Health Zone Blog.
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