Monday, 23 February 2015

Jozi Wahm's Guide to Getting Kids to Eat their Veggies

Noodle and Squish have both always eaten very well, but recently it has been a bit of a battle to get Noodle to eat healthy foods, especially vegetables. (She always used to love vegetables but her friends have convinced her that they are yucky so I need to reverse this mindset). Fortunately my kids both love fruit so I have no problem convincing them to eat these.

I always thought I was cultivating fairly healthy eating values and awareness of different foods until I discovered last week that Noodle thought that potato chips grew on a chip tree (probably my fault- while I seldom make french fries, when I do they come straight out of a McCain's bag and Noodle has never seen me chop potatoes up for this purpose).

I thought I would share some of the tricks that I use to get my family to eat their veggies (and other good stuff):
  1. Grow your own vegetables and herbs. I have a small herb and vegetable garden outside my kitchen door and while Noodle will usually not eat tomatoes, she will happily pick nibble at the cherry tomatoes that she picks herself from the garden. They take up virtually no space and are easy to grow.
  2.  Salad skewers- because everything tastes better on a stick. (Fruit skewers work just as well).
    Child-sized salad skewer with cucumber, bell pepper, cherry tomato and cheese served with a yoghurt and herb dip
  3. Food art- smiley faced sandwiches or food plated in animal, heart or flower shapes- the internet shows endless possibilities.
  4. Vegetables cut into unusual shapes are more appealing to children than if they are in their usual form.
  5.  Peas, carrots and broccoli can all go unnoticed if pureed and added to pastas, soups or curries.I take all my slightly overripe bananas, peel them and chuck them in a container in the freezer and then offer them as ice lollies once frozen or use them in smoothies. Berries also work well frozen.
  6.  Speaking of smoothies, carrots, cucumber and even spinach can slip unnoticed into these. 
  7. Children will eat anything on a pizza, covered with some cheese. Use wholewheat flour for the base.