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Aileen Cox Blundell shares her tips for getting kids to eat their veg


by IMAGE
31st May 2019

Mother of three and food entrepreneur Aileen Cox Blundell knows how to get kids to eat more veg. Here, she shares her tried and tested tricks…

 

We’ve all been there. The mealtime battle of the wills trying to get your precious little one to eat more of what is good for them. I have talked to literally thousands of parents over the last number of years through my Baby Led Feeding platform, and the problems are not when babies are starting weaning, but when they turn two and start showing signs of independence. That’s when the fussiness begins.

Usually green vegetables are the first things thrown on the floor and it can get progressively worse to the point where the child is eating very little good food at all. There is so much conflicting advice when it comes to health and diet, and as a mum (and not a nutritionist) it can be sometimes hard to keep up. However, the one thing that remains consistent and is agreed by everyone, is that eating more vegetables can help to improve both our health and wellbeing.

 

 

There are lots of ways to incorporate more servings of vegetables into your children’s diet, and here are my top five tips…

  1. Increase your child’s exposure to vegetables. Make sure they see them, touch them and taste them as much as possible. Always include vegetables at mealtimes, encourage them to help you to prepare them, and even grow your own if you can.
  2. Pack dips and sauces full of vegetables. Dips and sauces are a fun, tasty addition to a snack or a meal, and help expose kids to new flavours and textures. And, when you make your own, instead of buying the pre-packaged, processed ones, you get to control the ingredients. Pasta sauce has always been a huge favourite in our house, and it is so easy to incorporate tasty, soft grilled vegetables and garlic and blend the sauce for a delicious and nutritious stir-in.
  3. Batch cook. It can be such a struggle to make time to cook meals from scratch, so my top advice when cooking is to always batch cook and freeze. That way you always have a healthy meal to hand for your little ones.
  4. Make food fun for children. Food activities are a wonderful way for toddlers to learn. Allow them to explore their own creativity, define their motor skills, find food appreciation, and, of course, spend lots of quality time with you. Activities can include adding their own healthy toppings to pizzas, making veggie kebabs, making faces out of fruit and vegetables on a plate, and much more.
  5. Incorporate veggies into lunchboxes. Expand your child’s taste-buds by changing up their lunchbox ingredients, many of which can be batch cooked and simply removed from the freezer the night before. Ideas included veggie-loaded frittatas, oat and blueberry pancakes or veggie sticks with a fun hummus dip – the possibilities are endless!

 

Aileen Cox Blundell is a mother of three and the number one bestselling author of The Baby-Led Feeding Cookbook and The Baby-Friendly Family Cookbook. She is also the owner of the multiple-award-winning website, babyledfeeding.com.

Aileen has just launched the Hidden Heroes range of convenient veggie-packed nuggets for kids, which offer a healthy alternative for time-poor parents who are looking for a nutritional alternative to less healthy convenient foods. The Hidden Heroes range is on sale Dunnes Stores nationwide at a price of €3.99 for 15 nuggets (550g).