With December here, we all are looking forward to the age-old traditions for the festive period.
Decorating the tree, watching the kids in the nativity play, the work Christmas party, and the first mulled wine of the season… the list goes on.
One tradition that parents don’t always look forward to though is the battle with the veggies.
If there’s one thing that you can expect year after year, it’s trying to convince your child to eat a sprout or other vegetable accompaniment.
As parents who have been there, we know what you are going through!
Here are our tips to help survive the festivities and to stay sane during any veggie arguments with your toddler.
- Make them taste yummy: Sweet caramelized carrot and parsnip sticks, baked in the oven with your roast potatoes, are surprisingly tasty and appealing for kids! Brussels sprouts fried in bacon are also a yummy way of adding nice flavours.
- Eat like a superhero: Tell your little ones how good veggies are for them; they’re super-healthy, they help keep colds away and makes them big and strong (remember Popeye?)!
- Disguise them: Kids don’t always reject vegetables if they can’t pick them out. Incorporate vegetables into sauces, mash, or soup so that they can’t guess what they are eating.
- Keep it simple: Don’t offer veggies that you know they are not going to touch. Why get stressed if you know there is no chance of them eating them. Stick to things they like, even if it means adapting your menus a little.
- Keep trying: Don’t leave it until Christmas Day to try new things with your toddler, winter veggies are available now.Persevering can pay off. It’s thought that foods can take around 10 tries before they are liked.
- Play: We all know the age-old trick of pretending the fork is an aeroplane or a train. Whatever your little one is into, try some imaginative play around their favourite characters or things to get those veggies in!
- Create: Decorate the plate! Create happy faces or animal characters using the veg on the plate – this makes little one smile and can also make cooking far more fun for adults too! Don’t overcook veggies, they can lose their colour, taste and go mushy. Bright colours attract.
- Sing and dance: If all else fails, get creative. Switch on their favourite music on and sing and dance, let them play with the food and get messy. Make sure they are wearing a coverall first though
Most of all just have fun with food – if you have fun then so will they!