We know it can be a struggle to get fussy eaters to try new veggies, so we've put together a few tried and tested tips that will take the struggle out of getting your child to try a veggie and instead make it seem like it was their idea in the first place!
No amount of “eat your greens it will make you big and strong” will get your child to like greens, but “let’s build a tower made of peas” just may do the trick.
Let your child...
...serve you the veggies - Tonight at dinner, let your child pretend to be a waiter and take your order.
...examine it - Use a magnifying glass to examine the veggie/fruit and talk about what it looks like. This build familiarity and confidence to try the veggie.
...play with it - Do this away from mealtimes. Use a few prompts like: “I wonder if you can make the carrot into a house / car / stickman” and “Can you balance it on your head/nose/tongue”. When children touch veggies they learn what it will feel like in their mouth once they decide to take a bite.
...prepare it - Chop/ grate it / peel some veggies before dinner and put in into a bowl. Use a child safe knife that cuts food not fingers! (see our online shop for these KiddiKutter knives)
... make shapes with it - Use our push top veggie cutters and let your child cut the veggies into shapes, now sort them or create a story with the shapes (stars, flowers, bears).
...get curious about it - Look up something interesting about the veggie. Watch a Youtube video together about how vegetables are farmed.
... look at picture books about veggies - Go to your local library and grab a few fun veggie picture books. This builds familiarity and curiosity - two key ways to encourage your fussy eater to try veggies!
...play a "food detective" game - Let your child explore the veggie using all their senses. When children discover veggies in this way it becomes more familiar and less scary.
Being consistent with this approach and choosing one or two of these activities per week will move your child from bein a stubborn veggie refuser to a curious vegie explorer. This is where the magic happens!
If you are looking for more ways to encourage your fussy eater to try and learn to like veggies, have a look at our Veggie Explorer Food Play Kit.
Please note: Our food play activities and advice are aimed at children over 3 years of age. Always seek individual professional advice if you have concerns over your child's fussy eating.