CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CHILD TO EAT VEG?
& COOKING ARTICLE
& Tips by Judy Reith, Parenting Coach
- Golden moments
the time, energy and imagination to encourage your kids
to make healthy food choices can seem like a big task
at times for today's parents. But with a little effort
and creativity it can be done. The main thing is not
to give up, don't give in.
Have meals around the table as often as
you can as a family, even if it's just a snack or a
drink. It's a time to talk about what's new in your
child's world, be heard, eat good food together and
altogether create memories with those you love most.
You'll probably be surprised at how your snacks and
meals become healthier if you eat together.
But it doesn't just have to be around
dinner time - enjoying a healthy snack with your child,
even if just for 10 minutes, means you can get some
one-on-one time with them just to chat. Remember, it
shouldn't be a time for lectures and arguments, and
try and make sure you all eat the same thing. You are
a family not a café!
Offering a variety of veg to younger children
can mean they are much more likely to accept different
foods later on in life. So from the start, be as creative
as you can be in what you offer your kids. Think about
creative fun names for everyday vegetables see below
for some examples. It might take several attempts to
get children used to new tastes, but giving up is not
the answer. Small amounts served in different ways can
help, and a smile from you will go a long way, too.
With older kids it's still important to
make food fun and get them involved, especially when
it comes to eating vegetables. Encourage them to wash,
chop and serve, especially colourful vegetables and
introduce a sauce or a dip to make it more interesting.
Try Dairylea Dunk Pots made with milk and cheese and
contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
For the younger children it's easy to
make traffic lights out of peppers, train tracks out
of cucumbers and sun rays out of carrot sticks - let
their imagination run riot, and don't worry about being
The Treat Factor
Treats are great, but limit them so they will always
be a treat! Dinner in front of the TV can be fun, but
not every night. Messy snacking can be fun but not every
day! Many parenting experts say we should never use
food as a way to get our kids to love us. They love
you anyway. Show your love with hugs and kisses or just
time, not a box of doughnuts.
Struggling to get you kids to eat veg?
Use a bit of lateral thinking!
The makers of Dairylea have launched new
Dairylea Dunk Pots as a great way for parents
to encourage children to increase their
Made with cheese and milk, with no artificial
colours, flavours or preservatives added,
Dairylea Dunk Pots are available nationwide
in major supermarkets.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT A MOONSQUIRTER IS?
Well how about Sunshine Drops, Light Sabres or Fairy
They certainly don't sound as magical when you call
them by their real names - sweetcorn, parsnips and mushrooms,
but these are the lengths that parents up and down the
country are going to in a bid to get their children
Ten Re-branded Vegetables
for Lego people
Parents are serving Sunshine Drops, Moonsquirters
and Miniature Trees in a bid to get kids eating veg
tops poll of least loved veg in the Midlands whilst
Broccoli is the biggest turn-off in London
One in five children in the North West blame school
dinners on their hatred of veg
come veg: one in three parents in the North East insist
their children stay at the table until they've eaten
all the veg, making them the strictest parents in
Fancy a bowl of moonsquirters and sunshine drops?
Parents in Northern Ireland top poll of vegetable
your greens to become a superhero: Half of parents
in Scotland tell kids their veg contains magic powers
Less than 1 in 3 parents in Yorkshire give children
veg as a snack or in their lunchbox everyday
Every parent knows that getting children to eat vegetables
can sometimes be challenging, however research suggests
parents are becoming increasingly imaginative - if not
always truthful - to tempt their Children to eat up.
So says the findings of a survey from the makers of
Dairylea Dunk Pots.
Over half of the parents questioned (52 per cent) have
claimed that every day veg contains magic powers or
super strength in a bid to get their children to eat
group of moonsquirters
hangiing out together
With 65 per cent of children turning up their noses
at vegetables because of their taste, texture or smell,
parents today have admitted to employing a wide range
of tactics to encourage them to eat their greens. 'Re-branding'
vegetables with far-fetched names is a common theme
with some of the imaginatively used pseudonyms including
mini footballs (sprouts), sunshine drops (sweet corn),
moonsquirters (tomatoes) and clouds (mashed potatoes).
Yet despite increased creativity in the home, less
than one in five (18 per cent) parents insist that their
child stays at the table until they have finished their
plate, a stark contrast to their own childhood experiences
where more than three-quarters (84 per cent) had no
choice when it came to eating the greens on their plate.
Parents in the North East are the strictest with nearly
a third (30 per cent) insisting their kids remain seated
until they've finished their food, compared to less
than one in ten in Scotland (8 per cent).
Interestingly just over a third (37 per cent) of youngsters
under the age of 12 are given vegetables as a snack
or in their lunchboxes everyday.
Nearly three-quarters of parents surveyed (73.8 per
cent) believe celebrity role models, cartoon characters
and sportspeople have the greatest influence on their
children when it comes to eating veg.
Another technique is simply to allow children to choose
what veg they want and how they want to eat it. Nearly
three-quarters of parents surveyed (73 per cent) encourage
their kids to eat vegetables by adding a sauce, or dunking
them in a child-friendly dip such as soft cheese. A
quarter (24 per cent) of children in the East of England
choose the dipping option making them the biggest dunkers
in the country, with youngsters in London coming a close
second (22 per cent).
"A child's dislike of vegetables is often emotional
not rational," says parenting coach Judy Reith,
"so the more creative or enthusiastic parents can
be with the food on the plate the more responsive the
child. Encourage your kids to dunk vegetables in other
foods, like houmous or cream cheese as it's a lovely
interactive way to make meal times more fun."
Dr Rana Conway, independent nutritionist, adds: "It
is good to see parents turning away from the 'stay until
you clear your plate' tactic, as this is never going
to make kids love vegetables."
She continues: "We know most kids don't get their
five-a-day, but the best way to get them eating more
vegetables is to have family meals. You can also get
them involved in growing vegetables, choosing them in
the shops, or planning a meal and helping to cook."
All statistics are taken from the research carried
out online by Opinion Matters for the makers of Dairylea
Dunk Pots between 16th July 2009 and 27th July 2009
amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,145
UK parents of five to twelve year olds
with cheese and milk, with no artificial colours,
flavours or preservatives added, Dairylea Dunk
Pots are available nationwide in major supermarkets
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org