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NOW CLOSED: Share your tips for getting children to eat their 5-a-day with Mumsnet and Innocent - you could win smoothies for you and your child's entire class

(90 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Jul-11 15:39:11

As many of you know we have been working with Innocent, the smoothie makers, for a while now and they have now asked us to find out from you how you get on with encouraging your children to have their 5-a-day fruit and veg?

Please share your tips, stories and hints here - everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will win smoothies for you and your children's entire class*. Even if your child willingly eats their 5 (or more!) a day please do share their favourite fruit or veg, how you prepare it or what got them started on eating particular fruit and veg.

Innocent say "We've been making our kids' smoothies for over five years now and in that time, lots of parents have written in to us with their hints and tips on getting healthy stuff into small people. So we've made a handy little guide of our favourite top 10 tips on how to help your kids get their 5-a-day (without having to hide a pineapple ring under their lasagne). Stuff like pea eating competitions, home-made ice lollies, shopping safaris, that sort of thing. But better still, we'd love to know all your hints and tips on how you get your kids to eat fruit and veg".

You can download their guide here

A selection of your tips will be used on the Innocent pages on Mumsnet

Best of luck

* If you win you'll get 5 multiserve cartons for your family and 30-35 individual smoothie kids wedges to cover the class - to be sent in September grin

PrinceHumperdink Mon 04-Jul-11 16:25:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KnitterNotTwitter Mon 04-Jul-11 16:28:44

DS will only eat carrots if you cut them into Batons and call them carrot chips...

We also talk to him about how that anything he doesn't eat he'll eat when he's older - so that he doesn't think that not eating somehting is permenant and that he might like them when he's older

supergreenuk Mon 04-Jul-11 16:32:50

Always have a variety of different things for them to try.

Keep offering the things they don't seem to eat as sometimes they will start to eat it.

Hide veg in food such as pancakes or mash.

Use the water you boiled the veg in to make the gravy.

Lead by example eating veg making yummy noises.

Make your own smoothies including things like tomato, celery or cucumber along side apples and oranges.

Include then in the cooking process.

wobblyweeble82 Mon 04-Jul-11 16:37:45

Ooooh I lace most meals with hidden veggies grin Lasagne in our house contains grated carrot and pureed courgette and pepper. I also do a fabulous 'Everything Soup'. Tastes tremendous. And no, DS, they're not just normal peas - they're Incredible Hulk peas. Same with spinach (Hulk leaves). Salad is Shrek leaves. Kidney beans are what Doctor Who eats as he has no toilet on the TARDIS (don't ask, DH came up with that one). As for potatoes, we just all yell 'Potatooooo' in a Keith Lemon stylee and everyone wins. Tomatoes we grow, as we do cucumbers and peppers so they're more readily scoffed. Runner beans make you run fast too, in our house ...

Fruit isn't an issue really, but we just blatantly lie to DS at the moment in order to make sure he's getting enough veggies down him. But at least we don't bribe him! Well, not often grin

Bert2e Mon 04-Jul-11 16:37:52

Set a good example and eat plenty of fruit and veg yourself then children grow up just eating them without thinking about it and it isn't a big deal.

WowOoo Mon 04-Jul-11 16:40:53

I pay my 5 yr old to try new things that he usually point blank refuses to try.
He ate some asparagus yesterday for 10p, cabbage - the small amount on his plate for 30p.
He also tried broad beans for 10p.
When he realises how little this can buy, I'm going to be in trouble and in need of new ideas.
I'm hoping that he'll one day just say that he likes asparagus or cabbage. But I know my technique is wrong somehow.

EffinNell Mon 04-Jul-11 17:00:57

I do ice lollies made from fresh squeezed fruit juice. The simplest one is just freezing the juice of squeezed oranges but you can use any sqeezed or pureed fruit.

katz Mon 04-Jul-11 17:02:00

No big secret tip in our house, veggies and fruit have always been offered and in abundance. My girls love veggies, we tend to go for a variety of colours and veggies raw seem more popular. DH and I both love our veggies and fruit so guess it just seems normal. Also not stressing about getting 5 every day some day they may get 10 and others 2, taking it all as an average certainly helps.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 04-Jul-11 17:26:11

Never underestimate the value of a misshapen vegetable. One of my children tried parsnip after years of resisting because we dug one up that looked like a pair of legs with a penis in between. I didn't add the penis to the stew, by the way.

craftynclothy Mon 04-Jul-11 17:43:10

Fruit is always freely available in the fruit bowl and dd1 will happily eat a ton of it. Dd2 will only eat it in cake blush

Veggies are something they both like but will go through fussy stages with. We tend to do a few veggie meals every week though. Simple things like pasta with veg, veg in a tin of chopped tomatoes in the slow cooker and served with cous cous, stir fry. We do things like races to see who can eat x vegetable first. Also things like broccoli we call trees, parsnips we cut in batons so the kids think they're like chips, we eat celery "like the wonderpets" blushblush.

In winter I do lentil and veg soup which they love. They know there's veg in it cos they've seen me make it but they still eat it even though they've seen stuff go in they won't normally eat.

nowwearefour Mon 04-Jul-11 17:57:06

I always offer fruit when they are hungry and wanting a snack between meals. It adds up quickly and they always eat it as the alternative is to wait til the next meal. Plus for dessert I always offer some yummy fruit eg berries in a bowl so they just expect it. And I do no veggies, no treat rule. Works for me!

Taffeta Mon 04-Jul-11 18:05:52

1. Grow your own - raspberries, strawberries and peas a big hit here. Something about picking them watm and fresh in the sun....
2. Slice up fruit eg banana, apple, pear and squeeze lemon juice all over. Zings it up and makes DS (fusspot) eat any fruit
3. Keep fruit cold in the fridge (eg melon, pineapple, grapes ), always more appealing in the summer
4. Variety is the spice of life. I alternate some of the fruit and veg I buy so if thye haven't had it for a month or so, its much more interesting

thelollipoplady Mon 04-Jul-11 18:09:09

I have a confession to make. My DD was fruit-o-phobic. Her class did a project about fruit - making funny faces with fruit etc... and my child was the only one who wouldn't eat the results.

I felt so ashamed I took her straight out to a 'pick your own' fruit farm place, and spent the afternoon filling up our buckets with gorgeous summer-scented strawberries. She was so proud of all the strawberries we'd collected, she couldn't help trying a few on the way home and she's been much better at trying new types of fruit since. Maybe I should try the same trick with broccoli....

Sparkles23 Mon 04-Jul-11 18:09:30

My son is only 10m but I'm making sure he eats lots of fruit and veg to get him used to it so hopefully he won't be too fussy as he gets older. I stew a lot of fruit and serve it with Greek yoghurt. I keep a lot of frozen berries etc. in freezer so cost effective and avoids waste. For veg I just make sure there is a good variety in all his meals and also as he gets older I will be making vegetable crisps/chips and hoping he likes them. Also make a lot of smoothies and intending to make smoothie lollies too!

herecomesthsun Mon 04-Jul-11 18:10:49

My son likes
-muesli with lots of different fruit
- weetabix with berries
- corn-on-the-cob -I suspect he doesn't realise it's a vegetable
- couscous with lots of chopped up veggies and fruit
- felafels with veg incorporated. You can buy spinach or butternut squash ones but I also make them up usng packet mix and add extra fruit or veggies
- vegetables in soup
- pasta with zapped veg in the sauc
- cheesy mash with zapped veg

ifIsaynodontjustaskdad Mon 04-Jul-11 18:14:41

offering it in different ways e.g. curry - my dd like lots of spicy food, partly as i let them add yoghurt to calm them down. We had potato every way imaginable until new potatoes suddenly clicked.

My dh has considerable success with competitive eating. He has pea races with our nephews, and often we resort to who can eat lettuce faster games for salad.

Tortoise Mon 04-Jul-11 18:28:32

DDs like Fruit on cereal in the morning. Or raisins in ready brek.
Veg hidden in food or soup.
When DDs were little they would eat a bowl of mixed veg as finger food.

DollyTwat Mon 04-Jul-11 18:34:59

We do blind tastings
Both kids get blindfolded and taste new things
Eldest is not allowed to say what it is!
I only ever put 2 new foods which I know youngest would like (if only he'd let it past his lips)
I have to promise there won't be anything horrid!

He will now eat melon, grapes and strawberries as a result!

Littlefish Mon 04-Jul-11 18:46:18

Steam and blend broccoli and add it to pesto. Dd has eaten pounds of the stuff without realising!

Kveta Mon 04-Jul-11 18:46:31

don't make a big deal out of it. so they don't eat all the veg on their plate today - it's not the end of the world. they'll make up for it tomorrow.

and if they say they don't like something, don't force them to sit in front of a congealing plate of it for 3 hours when they are 6 years old. there is a very high chance that at nearly 30 they will absolutely refuse to even try anything with that veg in it. <not bitter>

Halogen Mon 04-Jul-11 19:15:40

Savoury muffins made with tons of grated veg and cheese have made my previously suspicious daughter declare that courgettes are her third favourite vegetable. The other two are butternut squash and sweetcorn, if you're interested. I can even get carrots into her in a muffin, and she is a carrot-loathing freak.

Halogen Mon 04-Jul-11 19:17:01

Also, even though she won't eat normal cooked peas she'll eat tons of them frozen straight from the freezer. Odd kid.

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 04-Jul-11 19:18:47

DS eats raw peas because he likes podding the peas himself. If I get him to help I don't have enough to cook.

I treat veg as normal, try not to draw attention to it as special.

Asinine Mon 04-Jul-11 19:31:11

Keep it simple. Humans are naturally wired to enjoy fruit and veg. We have the teeth and digestive systems for it, there is nothing more natural.

I just gave them fruit and veg without any fuss from an early age, initially pureed and then mushed up. They see us eating them, they copy. We don't comment about who's eaten what, but they aren't allowed to make a scene if they don't like something, just leave it, or say 'I'm not keen on x '. My dh hates courgettes and aubergines but the kids don't know that...

I think 'hiding' veg and doing novelty shapes just gives the impression that there is something not so nice about fruit and veg that it has to be sneaked in iyswim.

I think artificially sweet foods can confuse a young palate so that fruit tastes sour in comparison, so avoiding squash, fizzy drinks and sweets when trying fruit and veg will help.

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