This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to know more about how they work.
How do you make fruit and veg fun to help your children reach their five a day? Share your ideas with Change4Life for a chance to win a £300 voucher NOW CLOSED(374 Posts)
We all know that fruit or veg is the healthiest option, but it can sometimes be tricky to get your children eating their 5 a day. With that in mind, Change4Life would like to hear about the ways you make fruit and veg fun so your children happily tuck in to the fruit and veg on offer.
Whether you arrange fruit and veg into faces, create fruit kebabs or have other creative ways to make fruit and veg fun - share your tips and ideas below.
Feel free to share images of your creations if you have any!
All who leave a comment below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).
Thanks and good luck!
Standard Insight T&Cs apply
My five year old DS would choose fruit over sweeties (I wish my teenagers would!). I make sure that we always have a variety of fruit at home and chop it up into bite-size pieces so it's easier for him to eat. In summer we make fruity kebabs and smoothies and take him strawberry picking which he loves which also encourages him to eat more fruit.
I never had to bother with my eldest. They'd eat anything and I never had any trouble getting fruit, veg or anything else for that matter into them. I naturally concluded that this was due to my superior parenting skills. Then DS came along. That showed me. No amount of funny fruit faces or artfully constructed kebabs are enough to fool him. I have reluctantly come to the realisation that if vegetables don't get into him by stealth, they're not going in at all.
That broccoli is a tree growing in a forest and my DS is a scary giant who eats it in one gulp. He is almost 5 btw so not a toddler anymore ..
Sounds dull but I explain why it is important and healthy. I can't make DC like the taste of things but they will eat them anyway because they know it matters.
I don't do too much to be honest, as I don't want to go to the opposite extreme with "fun" ideas and end up demonstrating that fruit/veg is something to be dressed up/messed about with in order to be palatable, rather than something that we all generally enjoy eating anyway.
So really, my only top tip is variety - I always make sure there's choice and plenty of it available, an accessible fruit bowl and fruit/veg at every meal including breakfast.
We always have veggies with meals and talk about them as if they are a special treat. If we get excited about all the veg our daughter does too.
We grow ad much as we can and get ds3 involved with the whole process. We do a pick your own day a few tomes a year at a local farm as well.
We try to vary as much as possible within what's in season.
So if one particular veg or fruit isn't particularly liked we start by hiding it in sauces/ smoothies and work our way up until it's just put on a plate.
We also bulk a lot of meals out with veg to cut down on cost.
I make sure I serve vegetables with every meal. I ask them what they want so 'do you want broccoli or peas with your dinner?'. That way they feel like they have choice in it. If you serve veg with every meal all the time, it soon becomes the norm for them.
It's just part of the day to day. Variety is key and where possible I get as many veg into a dish as I can for example finely grating carrot and courgette into the mince for a shepherd's pie. We make a lot of mini veggie egg muffins too. Just eggs, grated veg and cheese baked in the oven in a muffin tin.
We have lots of different fruit and veg, and we've always shown us eating it - friends complain their dd won't eat veg, but I don't think I've seen more than a pea cross her dads lips!
My son is too young to cook with but with the young nieces and nephews I cook with them. We choose the vegetables together and then I will help them prepare the veg and we cook them together. Afterwards they are literally so excited to taste their chosen prize. It's a good way of ensuring they'll at least eat what's on the plate!
My DS 4 likes eating fruit with a toothpick! So we chop up grapes, apples, melon and he stabs it with the pick and gobbles it up! Needs a bit of supervision so no one loses an eye but has really encouraged him to eat it.
Variety. A stocked fruit bowl in the kitchen so that fruit can be easily accessed and encourages the children to snack on that. Peer pressure though not exactly fun, helps. Or letting them "cook"
Its just part of our usual diet. I serve a variety of fruit and veg and the kids know that if they don't eat a balanced meal there will be no treats. I buy the things I know they like - blueberries, apples, carrots, broccoli etc, and I let them eat them prepared as they like - e.g. they like carrots raw better than cooked, and if I do cook them the kids prefer them cut into julienne rather than circles.
Pancakes are make with a banana in the batter (an egg, handful of oats, ripe banana, pinch of bicarb, dollop of yoghurt - whizz with a stick blender), bolognaise and chilli etc contain loads of veg (carrots, celery, tomatoes, all chopped very small). Loads of veg can go into curries, soups, pies etc.
Cooking from scratch helps hugely as veg becomes an integral part of meals.
I'm fortunate in that my 3 DS's will all eat fruit over sweets and chocolate. We pick a different fruit once a week, this week it is pomegranate. I mix fruit into jelly and yoghurt for dessert. I also freeze bananas so we can make banana 'ice cream'. If they start getting fussy with the amount they eat, I get them to prepare it themselves. Peel and chop the banana, segment the apples, chop the grapes up. This gives them knife skills and also makes it more fun.
Fruit and veg have just always been part of my DCs diet.
They have veg as part of every meal and fruit and veg sticks as snacks.
I do vary the types of fruit and veg I offer them so they don't get bored with the same stuff.
I also let them choose what fruit and veg they would like to try when we're at the supermarket as fruit and veg can be so visually appealing- they've tried things like pomegranate seeds and phsyllis just cos they look 'cool'.
Use lots of colours - call it rainbow - rainbow salad, rainbow pasta etc etc. However, I find that a lot of vegetables from supermarkets are lacking in taste. If you can afford it, get good quality stuff so that they can taste how delicious a tomato or carrot can be.
In addition to fruit, I give them a choice what 2 veg they want as a side dish with their dinner. With all meals possible I add vegetables to it anyway. Leek, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and peppers to any wet dishes I do. We also make up fun names for fruit and veg. Bananas are minion phones, strawberries are ladybirds, peas are mini missiles, apples are garden fruit (we have an apple tree in our garden)
Luckily I don't have a fussy eater but my friend struggles with getting her son to eat vegetables but he loves ice lollies - she makes them herself with kale and other healthy things in the blender and he loves them!
We are very lucky that our girls like veggies but I also like to use hidden veggies. I cram loads into spaghetti bolognese and chillis! My little ones love to eat them and they are getting all the fresh veggies they need! As for fruit, they love it so not issues there! It does however cost us a fortune to keep them eating it!
I let my girls pick their own vegetables to make homemade soup as they enjoy being involved and make little faces with their fruit which always makes them giggle.
My three year old likes to have picnics in the living room. I agree to it if she eats a little bit of everything so make sure we have lots of fruits and veggies on the blanket.
I agree with previous posters that it's more about setting a good example and just including fruit and veg as part of the everyday diet that's most important, rather than making it "fun". I did used to do fruit kebabs or make funny faces when DS was a toddler if I felt in the mood but the key things were just being positive and eating lots of fruit and veg myself....so no "eat your greens or you won't get any pudding" but more "yum! This broccoli is really tasty today!" kind of approach
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.