Vegetable Wars

I would guess that the food group that evokes the most anxiety amongst parents are vegetables. Just why vegetables are the perennial problem, it’s hard to know; possibly because parents see vegetables as super-nutritious, or because parents themselves don’t like them but wish their children would.

We are all born with a preference for sweet foods, but this aside, children will approach all new foods pretty much the same. Including vegetables.

So how do we get children to eat and enjoy their veg? Forcing your child to eat something they’re already slightly wary of will only increase their distrust of the food. Forget waging a war with them over finishing their vegetables. Patience is needed, along with regular exposure to vegetables to develop a sense of familiarity. We could also take some guidance from a new piece of research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in February this year; 434 parents of children aged 2-5 were interviewed, and one of the major factors predicting whether a child liked vegetables was whether or not their parent ate vegetables.

If you’re worried about your child not eating vegetables, perhaps it’s time you ate them yourself?

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