If you are struggling to get fruit and veg into your child's diet, here are ten simple ways to ensure your child gets their five-a-day:
  1. Before preparing the meal, ask your children what vegetables they like. Let them choose between one of two options. They will feel happier about eating their veggies if they have had a say in what is being served.
  2. Serve vegetables as appetisers. While making the dinner leave out a few carrots and low-fat dip for your kids to nibble on. The key is not to say anything to them, but simply to leave them on the table. This is especially effective before dinner as they are hungry and more open to eating healthy food.
  3. Hiding veg in other foods is a classic trick. Blend vegetables in with sauces, put them on top of pizzas or add them to a bolognaise. Add peas or sweet corn to pastas or omelettes. This is a very simple way of getting some vegetables into your child’s diet.
  4. Most children will eat pasta without hesitation. Why not try making raviolis stuffed with vegetables?
  5. Try serving them veggie burgers instead of regular burgers.
  6. Don’t overcook or undercook the veg. When vegetables are undercooked they leave can leave a bitter aftertaste. While babies need mushy textured food, older kids might enjoy a bit of bite in their veg, especially when serving them as finger food.
  7. Sprinkle a tiny bit of brown sugar on cooked vegetables. It instantly sweetens and softens the flavour, but won’t destroy young teeth once you don’t use too much. Brown sugar is far healthier than cane sugar. This trick works well on carrots and peas.
  8. Serve raw, cut up vegetables with dip while your kids are watching TV. They will be so engrossed in their programme that they won’t even notice what they are eating.
  9. Make fruit fun with fondue. Fruits like strawberries, cherries, bananas, apples, pineapples and dried apricots are lovely dipped in chocolate. You could do the same with vegetables but instead of chocolate, use cheese. Peppers, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower would all work nicely with a cheese fondue.
  10. Instead of serving regular mashed potato, make mashed sweet potatoes. Kids tend to gravitate towards sweet food and sweet potatoes contain lots of Vitamin A, essential for good eye sight. You can also make sweet potato wedges instead of normal wedges.