We all know how difficult it can be to get children to eat their salads and veggies. They complain that these vitamin-filled foods are boring or they taste ‘horrible’ but we know that doesn’t have to be the case – and veggies can be delicious.
As it’s picnic and BBQ season let’s make the most of the planned glorious weather over this weekend and try out some food ideas designed to inspire you and your little ones.
Before getting into the realms of weird and wonderful ideas – keep in mind these three top tips.
- Make the salads simple, as too many different flavours will overwhelm tiny taste buds. The younger the child the fewer ingredients, to start with.
- Use ingredients that the children are familiar with to work with the salad. These may include bacon, croutons, chicken, cheese, etc.
- Make a home salad bar, with lots of cut up salads, vegetables and fruit, so the children can pick and choose what they fancy. Giving them a little control will make the experience more fun for them.
While the weather is warmer, you probably don’t want to eat anything too heavy – and neither do the kids. Have a try with some of the creative ideas below, and see if you can add extra salads and veggies to different meals once they are used to it.
Get the kids involved in creating their very own ‘salad bundle’. These are a very basic idea, and easy to make, using brightly coloured and crunchy vegetables wrapped in a big salad leaf. These are ideal for children as they are great finger food, and easy to dip in whatever sauces they like to make it more appealing.
An idea you can try when you’re out and about is picnic cups. To get the children engaged, get them to help layering up lots of different coloured vegetables and other ingredients in a pot, and have fun making it look pretty. We all find food more appealing when it looks pleasant, so make that the case for our little ones too.
Finally, a family get together is what we all love over the summer, with a big fat barbecue. Although there are likely to be plenty of naughty nibbles and treats, you can still encourage the children to get some veggies in. We can’t think of anything better than a veggie kebab for this. These are always very appealing to small appetites and great portable food that’s easy for small hands to grab and eat on the go. You can make them super colourful with different salad ingredients – think peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and cheese.
It just takes a bit of creativity and imagination to encourage kids to try out new veggies – so why not give these ideas a try and get them on track for a healthy lifestyle?