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  • Brenda

I Don't Like Vegetables

Whilst chatting to a parent last week she mentioned that it was nearly impossible to get her child to eat any vegetables (carrots were the only vegetable to cross her lips). This is a common challenge for a lot of parents.

Having had the same issue in varying degrees with my own 5, coupled with my experience at the school, I believe I have become somewhat of an expert! The best way to get children to eat vegetables is firstly to give them a reason as to why they are good for them and secondly let them prepare them with you.

Your reasons need to be specific and not ‘because they are good for you’ or ‘they will make you healthy’, do these statements sound familiar?

Instead try, “Do you know why Ciara Carrot is good for us?” (at this point you hope that your child will answer yes) “She is really good for our eyes and helps us to see in the dark. Would you like to be able to see in the dark?” (again you hope that they will answer yes). With regards to the antioxidant properties of the carrot this is a little too much for our 4 year olds to take in but you can simplify it and tell them that Ciara carrot is great for cleaning our blood. She is able to take all the dirty bits out – “would you like to have clean blood” (yet again you are hoping for a positive answer!!).

As an adult you would be reluctant to eat something that you think is not nice without an explanation as to the benefits so why expect your child to do so?

Books are also a great way of encouraging your child to eat more vegetables and fruit. Books like ‘Oliver’s Vegetables’ and ‘Oliver’s Fruit Salad’, by Vivian French, ‘What I Do with Vegetable Glue ’ by Susan Chandler , and ‘Monsters don’t eat Broccoli’ by Barbara Jean Hicks, are a few that spring to mind.

In school this week we made vegetable soup. We introduced a vegetable each day – Ciara Carrot, Paddy potato, Larry Leek. Each vegetable was given facial features and hair and having introduced themselves they then told the children why they were good for them. From strong eyes and giving them lots of energy to cleaner and stronger blood, all children were very keen to have all these thing but the proof of the pudding would be in the eating.

The children did all the preparation of peeling and chopping, with everyone getting to do both. This involvement is a very important element of encouraging your child to eat vegetables. Your child is also capable of using a knife and a peeler but at Bizzy B’s we do use safety knives (Kuhn Rikon). We also teach the children how to use the peeler correctly and so far we have had no incidents with skin being peeled off! Your child is very capable so encourage this capability and promote their sense of accomplishment when they manage to peel and chop.

Our soup was an overwhelming success and the child who hates vegetables had two cups and brought two servings home, proudly telling everyone how it was made and why they should drink it. So I think we can say that we had a ‘souper day’.

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