The problem with hiding vegetables
Why won’t my child eat vegetables?
What can we do instead?
- While there's nothing wrong with occasionally hiding veggies, a better approach to take is to offer vegetables in multiple forms – include some in their main meal and some on the side or in the middle of the table so they can help themselves.
- In dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, keep vegetables small but visible, so that kids can see them but aren't daunted by them. Then serve these dishes with a side of vegetables such as some peas, broccoli florets or a small salad, so that kids also have the option of trying some vegetables on their own.
- Reduce the bitterness in bitter vegetables by sautéing and roasting them rather than steaming or boiling, and toss in some melted butter and a little salt.
- Serve a familiar, liked vegetable alongside a new or 'learning to like' one – this helps kids to feel more comfortable with an unfamiliar food.
- Add a familiar dip for kids to dip vegetable sticks in.
- Encourage your kids to choose a new vegetable to try when you're at the supermarket - this gives them a greater feeling of control and will also foster their curiosity around vegetables.
- Involve kids in cooking as much as possible. They'll be more likely to eat something they've helped to prepare.
- Try to stay calm and relaxed during meal times. A stress-free environment is your best bet for encouraging kids to be more adventurous at the dinner table.
- Remember to be a good role model by eating plenty of vegetables yourself and showing your kids how much you enjoy them.
- If in doubt, remember the golden rule of feeding kids: Parents provide, kids decide.