Chips and dips:
All kids love chips and dips and so the challenge is to make it healthy! Try replacing some of the chips with veggie sticks like raw carrots, cucumber and celery. Yellow pepper works well too as it’s sweet and juicy. If the kids don’t pick the veggies up straight away, try not to stress out – it’s best to take a relaxed approach to diversifying their diet and you can use the leftovers in salads and stir-fries instead. You can sneak extra nutrients in by serving guacamole, salsa or hummus as a dip instead of cheese-based dips.
Presentation counts and kids are more likely to eat food that looks attractive. Fruit kebabs are quick and easy to make. Try making kiwi and strawberry kebabs, then drizzle with a little honey and roll them in chocolate sprinkles. Kids love this process and although the honey and sprinkles aren’t exactly optimal, it is a whole lot healthier than a bowl of ice cream!
This is a sweet alternative to traditional chips and dips. If your kids find fruit boring, invite them to dip strawberries, pineapple and slices of apple into yogurt or chocolate sauce.
Frozen berries as ice cubes, or in ice cubes:
Try adding frozen berries as ice cubes into drinks. You can also freeze small berries (e.g. blueberries or raspberries) inside ice cubes and the kids will have fun watching the ice melt away and the fruit escape. Try doing this with 4oz 100 per cent juice mixed with 4oz still or sparkling water. Then encourage the kids to eat the fruit afterwards!
Kids love to whiz up their own combination of fruits into smoothies. Try mixing a high-sugar fruit (e.g. banana) with a low sugar fruit (e.g. berries) to keep the sugar content as low as possible whilst also maintaining the sweetness. Try using milk as a mixer instead of juice – this also helps to keep the sugar content down and provides a little protein.
Kids tend to like what they make, so the more you are able to involve them in the cooking process, the more likely they are to eat fruits and vegetables.
- Keep healthy options readily available – make it easy for kids to grab something healthy!
- Compromise – if the only way your kid will eat broccoli is on a pizza, then so be it.
- Hide the vegetables – if all else fails, cheat! Books such as “Deceptively Delicious” will show you how to hide pureed vegetables (everything from spinach to cauliflower) in everyday recipes.