It’s all about making positive associations

Fussy eaters tips in Paula Duggan Balance Nutrition blog

When it comes to food, kids and fussy eaters … It’s all about making positive associations, so make food more interesting and veggies more appealing where ever possible. I have a trick for nearly every vegetable to make them a little nicer, the addition of butter for example goes along way! Before you say it, do not worry about a little butter – you probably put it on their toast anyway. More importantly, focus on the quantity and variety of vegetables you are getting into them. Variety is really important as every vegetable offers a variety of different nutrients and phytonutrients.

Top 10 tricks to get your fussy eaters … eating more veggies

  1. Carrots/Peas/Broccoli – add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or butter
  2. Cauliflower – par-boil, then add grated cheese or cheese & wholemeal breadcrumbs or top with homemade cheesy sauce (bechamel) & finish in the oven
  3. Asparagus – cook on a griddle pan & squeeze lemon juice over them
  4. Spinach – add a drizzle of maple syrup & squeeze of lemon
  5. Turnips – cut & roast them like chips & call them chips too. If mashing turnips try adding a little ground cloves & butter
  6. Beetroot – cut & roast them like chips, we call them “purple chips”
  7. Brussel sprouts – par boil, then stir-fry with lean rasher chopped (not bacon lardons which are very fatty)
  8. Cabbage – stir-fry instead of boiling and add a little cinnamon
  9. Mash potatoes – add mashed celeriac or parsnip
  10. Crunchier veg – some kids actually prefer veg a little crunchier – change up the textures – Offer them raw vegetables, and some hummus (change up the type of hummus too – e.g. beetroot/red pepper etc.)

Make Food Memories!

My daughter loves Brussels sprouts because the first time she remembers eating them it was Christmas day when she was 3 years old. It was the first time we did a Christmas in our own house as I had just had my third baby a few weeks beforehand. So being our first solo I wanted to go all out, so there was all the trimmings!! I pan-fried the Brussels sprouts with chopped rashers and she absolutely loved them, she developed a positive association with Brussel sprouts that day and now she eats without the bacon – remember once they decide they like something that’s often it!

Associations and thus memories are a big thing with kids, if they don’t like pasta tell them they are having shells or bows for lunch – change the name. Tell them fish is shark. I gave them shark once, I tested the reaction first, they all loved it so I then told them it was shark, sometimes now we tell them other fish is shark too because they have such a positive thing going on with shark! Call broccoli trees and asparagus – swords or spears.

Make food exciting not a boring chore!!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Brigid flynn

    I must try cinnamon with cabbage and stir frying as I find it very hard to get two of mine to eat it.

Leave a Reply