Parents reveal the top tricks they still use to get their kids to eat their greens
Hiding veggies, bribing with dessert, and creating pictures still used by modern day parents
It’s an age old struggle for parents around the world. How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables instead of pushing them around their plates, hoping you’ll give up?
Well, according to a new poll out today, classic tricks and old fashioned subterfuge are still being used by parents, with number one on the list the simple camouflaging of veg within other foods and sauces.
Second on the list is the threat of no dessert if veggies aren’t eaten first, while third was telling children that vegetables would give them special powers such as the old ‘carrots will help you see in the dark’, or ‘spinach will give you muscles as big as Popeye’.
Further down the list were rewarding children for polishing off their greens with toys and stickers, making it into a competition between siblings and friends as to who can eat their veggies first, and telling their children their favourite superheroes or characters loves their vegetables.
And it’s no surprise parents are going to such lengths still to get vegetables into their children in any way they can, with only half of all children eating veggies willingly and one in ten actively avoiding them, according to the survey of more than 1,000 parents by Green Giant.
Four out of five parents admitted their children don’t get their advised five portions of fruit and veg a day, while one in five parents will allow their children to leave their veggies – sometimes just to avoid the stress that goes hand in hand with meal times when vegetables are involved. A number of parents stated that their children eat vegetables so rarely that they feel elated if they even eat a mouthful. In turn, parents can spend on average up to two hours on top of mealtimes each week trying to prompt their children to eat their vegetables.
So how difficult is it for you to get your kids to eat what they should and what tactics do you use to get them into your children? Colin Jackson always ate his vegetables when he was a youngster and was told by his mum that if he did, he would grow up to be a World Champion athlete and Olympic Medalist…..and we know how that story ends!
Colin has joined with Green Giant to help parents come up with ways to educate their kids on healthy eating and even get them to grow to love their veggies.
I managed to get some questions put to Colin Jackson about getting involved with Green Giant’s initiative to help encourage parents to make sure their children are getting their 5 a day!!
How did you become involved with the Green Giant 5 a day initiative?
‘I’m heavily into my dieting so when they explained the whole concept it was an obvious choice for me- I felt I could be an ambassador’
So as a world class athlete, do you follow a healthy diet yourself?
‘Reasonably, your needs are different now. Now I’m not so exclusive and happy to have a little more pasta and a little more treats. But a lifetime of healthy eating has stayed with me.’
What do you think of mums and dads who disguise fruit and vegetables to encourage kids to get their 5 a day?
‘I think it’s a great idea-if it works-wonderful’.
What fruit and vegetables, do you now as an adult, still refuse to eat?
There’s no real fruit I don’t like and even vegetables……I even eat brussel sprouts! I’m not fearful of any fruit or veg’.
How did your mum encourage you to eat more fruit and vegetables as a child?
‘Putting me in front of the TV and saying- Look what Popeye is eating!! Also I’ve always wanted to visit the land of the Jolly Green Giant!’
One of my tricks is to blend fruit I know they would generally refuse to eat, raspberries being one of them, and mixing them into natural yogurt!! It works too and especially if I allow them to sprinkle on a little sugar!
So what tricks do you use on your children to get them to have their 5 a day?
For more information visit: www.greengiant.co.uk