Eat rainbows

Nicola - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

food images (3)

For a healthy brain mind and body you need to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, plus protein, good oils and low GI carbohydrates to get all essential micro nutrients.  Statistics show that only 5-15% of teens and adults eat enough vegetables.

How to get kids eating vegetables?

Many parents ask how to get their children to eat their vegetables. Start Young! Make vegetables fun – serve food in patterns (rainbows) or pictures (faces). Provide alternative colour options – peas, beans, broccoli for greens. Soup is a great way in introduce different types of vegetables eaten. My Grandmother called vegetable soup ‘Robber Soup’ from the Richard Scarry book which made it all the more appetitiisng. Never shy away from the expectation that they will have vegetables of at least 3 colours each day. Other tips include offering raw vegetables with hummus dip, making cubes of raw vegetables in a ‘snack’ bowl to munch instead of chips, and model eating vegetables yourself.

How to introduce new foods?

The brain has to ‘taste’ something at least 5 times before it ‘likes’ it – so present ‘yucky’ vegetables at least 6 times. If you have done the food camouflage trick of embedding vegetables into something else (eg – grated carrot into bolognaise or beetroot into brownies) tell your children afterwards so they learn that they like the sneaky vegetable.  Play a game and go shopping and play detective – choose a weird new food and investigate what it is, how to prepare it, find a recipes and make it then sit down and all be food critics.