Increasing fruit and vegetable intake
Tried Tips and Tricks
- Involve children in writing and ticking off a shopping list
- Allow children the option to choose different fruits and vegetables to try each time they go shopping.
- Set up a play fruit market in your home/childcare centre with models of fruits, vegetables and other healthy food
- Involve them in the growing and maintenance of a vegetable garden, or invest in a planter for a verandah or courtyard to grow compact plants like herbs, tomatoes, lettuce or strawberries
- Make fruits and vegetables more attractive by offering a range of different types and colours, cutting them into different shapes (using a cookie cutter) and presenting them in as many ways as possible: either diced, sliced, rounds, grated, canned, fresh or from frozen, cooked, blanched, raw, with or without skins, in soups, casseroles, stir fries, sandwiches, baked, boiled, steamed, barbecued or grilled
- Add fruits to cereal or porridge
- Disguise vegetables in meals with sauce (by chopping them finely or grating them)
- Increase the number of times that you offer vegetables. New foods need to be offered up to 15 times before your child may decide to try them
- Increase the serving sizes of the vegetables that your child already likes
- Offer a small piece of vegetable each day and reward your child for trying it using a sticker chart or a fun activity that they enjoy
- Make them fun- read books, play games or listen to music about healthy eating
- Try vegetables as snacks or main meal entrees (for example, broccoli florets, zucchini sticks, grated carrot or chopped cherry tomatoes, or vegetable soup)
- Avoid the confectionery, soft drinks and snack food aisles when shopping. If this is too challenging try taking them to a fruit market
- Don’t bribe your child by saying that they won’t get dessert unless they eat their vegetables (this can encourage over-eating)
- Don’t forget to set a good example. Remember to eat fruit and vegetables yourself
Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living
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