Handy hints to encourage children to eat healthier

Keep up the 5 a day
  • Hide vegetables in sauces by pureeing them in to tomato and white sauces. Also in foods such as bolognaise, cottage pie etc
  • When you make a sandwich add sliced tomato, cucumber, sliced apple, beetroot, sweetcorn etc
  • Have a fruit bowl out so children can snack on it
  • Make foods in to fun shapes i.e. spaghetti faces
  • Bake your own crisps by slicing vegetables and potatoes, spraying with oil and roasting till golden brown for 15 –20 minutes
  • Make your own dips and dressings i.e. yogurt with mint with grated cucumber
  • Children love dips cut up strips of vegetables and serve with a Greek yogurt dip
  • Always serve one or two vegetables or a salad with their dinner, they may not like it but – be patient
  • Children favourite vegetables are peas or petit pois (small peas), sweetcorn (tinned is fine), cauliflower cheese, broccoli florets or carrot strips or French beans
  • Serve a few pieces of diced cucumber and tomato or cherry tomatoes with they're dinner or lunch
  • For desert make them a plate of pieces of apple, banana and/ or orange segments
  • Dried fruit is good for dessert or as a snack try ready to eat prunes, apricots, exotic fruit mix, cranberries and sultanas and raisins (no added sugar variety)
  • Keep away from processed foods. You could try to copy favourites i.e. fresh chicken chunks in crumbs (nuggets) or fresh fish strips in batter/crumbs (fish fingers)
  • Children love sausages but always read the label make sure they are not too high in fat and additives. A good butcher makes there own sausages high in meat content
  • Try toad in the hole or wholemeal hot dogs, sausages with home jacket wedges, sausage and healthy mash tower
  • A little tub of bran based cereal makes a good snack to take out (instead of crisps high in fat and salt)
  • If you don’t have crisps, chocolate, fizzy drinks and sweets in the house then they can’t eat them
  • Try to keep a varied diet even if it repeats i.e. fish once or twice a week, pasta once a week, rice once, beans once, chicken or turkey once or twice a week etc
  • Yogurt makes a nice desert but keep an eye on the ingredients label – Low fat often means hi sugar and low sugar often means high fat and enriched in vitamins can also be high sugar or salt, go for natural yogurt and add your own fruit
  • Keep away from carbonated drinks they are hi in sugar and have no beneficial health qualities what so ever
  • Do give them watered down juices with no sweeteners etc
  • Do encourage them to drink water it has been proven to increase concentration levels and improve health and its free
  • Do give them milk its natural and enriched with calcium and vitamins
  • Take your own bottles out with you and you wont be tempted to buy high sugar drinks aimed at children
  • For snack box ideas Try adding strips of vegetables, fresh cheese, wholemeal pitas, fruit, tinned oily fish, salads of rice, beans, lentils or pasta, homemade flapjack, homemade smoothies and juices, nuts and seeds, etc

Try not to use fast food chains, convenience foods and takeaways regularly. The food contains very little or no nutritional value. Often as not containing flavourings, colourings, E numbers and chemical food enhancers. All of which have proven to be a harmful diet long term. An occasional treat is fine after all children love them. Try other cafes, coffee shops and canteens for fresher same priced foods.


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