We would all love it if our kids would embrace the joys of a varied, nutritional balanced diet…but that is rarely the case! You are most likely to see your little angels scarper as quickly as possible whenever you try to bring a green foodstuff into their vicinity. So how do you ensure that your child gets the vitamins they need?
Aside from keeping your fingers tightly crossed that they will suddenly develop a taste for kale berry smoothies, here are some cunning ways to help your children thrive and consume those essential vitamins required for a healthier life. It’s time to get creative, dads.
1) The blending trick
Every parent’s best friend is the blender. It could be a huge, industrial sized affair or it might be a little hand blender. Either way, you can hide a multitude of veg inside any meal just by whizzing it up and stirring it in.
But, there is a word of caution.
To make this a successful covert mission, you need to colour match as best you can. Blending red pepper into an omelette is going to result in a pink mess that will alert your little darling to the presence of goodness. Try instead something light coloured, like an onion, a peeled aubergine or something similar.
You can hide a bag load of carrots in bolognese and a couple of courgettes in a simple pasta and pesto. Simple, but effective.
2) The bargaining trick
If you don’t fancy being a spy, slipping blended veg into your children’s meals, you might want to take on the role of police negotiator instead.
No one wants a stand-off at meal time, escalating into a full-scale conflict. So work out a plan with your child to ensure you both get what you want.
Pick a favourite pudding, activity, story or a set amount of screen time and allow them access to it on condition that they devour the vegetables on their plate. Try “ten bites of broccoli and we can play Swingball for half an hour,” for example.
As The Apprentice has shown us, they may come back with a counter offer, so go big on your first suggestion to your mini-Lord Sugars and eventually you will settle on a deal whereby they get their reward and you can relax that they are brimming with vitamins.
3) The familiarity trick
Getting vitamins in your child doesn’t have to be a trial and a constant battle. Sometimes it is okay to stick with your bankers. If your child loves a few vitamin-rich foods, then work with those. Find new ways to present them so that they stay interesting. As long as they are getting the good stuff, it doesn’t really matter right now that there is not much variety in their diet. That will come with age.
There is no need to keep trying to widen your child’s tastes if they are determined not to accept the offerings. That just makes you both miserable.
Instead, work out a few vitamin-rich meals you know that they enjoy and put them in rotation. You can occasionally add in new suggestions, just to see if they will accept them. Some they will and some they won’t.
The most important thing is to get the vitamins into them. Introducing variety can wait for now.
4) The leading by example trick
Children tend to eat early and that might mean they don’t usually see you eating too. But you might be missing a trick by not sitting down together. If they witness you tucking into a delicious, vitamin-laden meal, they might be more tempted to try it themselves.
When children eat alone, it is easier for them to become distracted. When there is a parent there at food time, it encourages them to keep eating as that is what the adult is doing. That is clearly the purpose of being at the table, rather than it being just an opportunity to place random piles of baked beans around the floor.
Kids take so many of their cues from their grown-ups that you may just get them to take in the vitamins they need merely by scoffing your own dinner. This is a win-win situation.
5) The Mini Drops trick
A fuss free way to get vitamins into your children is Mini Drops. They are lactose and gluten-free food supplements with no added sugar that you simply drop into your child’s food or drink.
Mini Drops products provide a range of different vitamins and nutrients with both flavourless options and those created using 100% natural flavours. Simply carry them with you to make sure your child gets all the vitamins they need, no matter what they pick for their meal. They won’t even notice that they are consuming their vitamins!
This makes your life much easier, because you don’t have to worry about them getting the nutrition they need. Once you have that sorted you can be more relaxed about their diet, which will improve as their palate develops.
Find out more about the Mini Drops range at their website.