5 Ways To Get Your Kids Eating More Fruit & Veg

We all know the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, but getting our kids to follow suit isn’t always easy. To help get more nutrients into your children’s diet, here are some top tips from Foost dietitian Kate Wengier on how to add more colour and fresh goodness to family mealtimes. They’ll be ‘eating the rainbow’ in no time!

1. Involve children in food away from the table

Like many other stages in your little one’s development, learning to eat and enjoy fruits and vegies takes time. Much like learning to read, children need opportunities to learn and explore food. Some great ways to get kids interested are gardening, cooking, pretend food play, arts and crafts, and grocery shopping.

Kate’s tip: Take children with you to the supermarket and get them involved with helping you select items or pack the trolley. For example, you could make a game out of counting vegetables.

2. Repeat exposure

For children to get into the habit of ‘eating a rainbow’, they need to be regularly served a variety of colourful fruit and vegies. It’s important that each exposure to a food, both at the table and away from it, is positive. Give children opportunities to try new things, but refrain from forcing or bribing them.

Kate’s tip: Offer the same food but presented in different ways. For example, cut carrots into batons, circles, semi-circles, or try them served steamed, raw or roasted.

3. Serve a new (or not-yet-liked food) with accepted ones

New foods can be intimidating – or even scary – for small children. In fact, it can sometimes take numerous exposure to the same food for it to be accepted, so don’t give up if it’s not eaten happily on the first try!

Kate’s tip: Serve a new fruit or vegetable (or one they are still learning to like) with already accepted ones.

4. Offer vegies earlier in the day

Don’t wait until dinner to serve vegies. Fruit and vegetables can be added to breakfast, lunch and even snacks throughout the day to help you pack in the goodness and get kids used to them.

Kate’s tip: Add colour, fun and nutrients to any mealtime or snack with vegie sticks and dips, fruit kebabs and smoothies.

4. Eat with your kids

Whenever possible, eat with your children. Not only does watching you enjoy particular foods make them a lot more acceptable to little ones, but creating a nice mealtime environment will also keep them relaxed. Why not get older children to help you set the table or pick some flowers for a centerpiece?

Kate’s tip: Serve meals family-style with dishes in the middle of the table, then allow kids to serve themselves.