Feeding Kids Fruit & Veg

The main aim of Back to Basics is to get children cooking with and eating fruit and vegetables. We all know that children can be fussy eaters, especially if foods are new or unfamiliar. Here are some hints for dealing with fussy eaters:

  1. Be happy, friendly and enthusiastic. This will rub off on the children’s attitude.
  2. Lead by example – think and speak positively about fruit and vegetables and trying new foods. Eat the fruit and vegetables with the children.
  3. Hungry children are more likely to try new foods. Gently discourage children from filling up on too much afternoon tea before cooking club. Offer a small amount of afternoon tea at the beginning of the session .
  4. Don’t try to force the children to eat, this will create negative feelings toward food. Children more likely to continue rejecting foods if fuss and attention is created as a result of their refusal to eat.
  5. Don’t offer replacement foods – children can only eat the foods that are available to them, they won’t starve themselves!
  6. Seeing other children trying new foods will encourage other children to do the same.
  7. Don’t try to bribe children with unhealthy foods as this will make them more desirable.
  8. Allow the children to serve themselves.
  9. Persevere when introducing new foods as a child may need to be presented with a new food up to 10 times before it is accepted.
  10. When cooking with the children make sure all of the ingredients have been cut up, prepared and are ready to be cooked BEFORE starting the cooking process. For example if you are cooking a stir fry make sure all the vegetables are cut up, the meat is sliced, the noodles cooked and the ingredients for the sauce measured out before you begin cooking the stir fry. Place all ingredients in front of you before you start the cooking process. That way you won’t need to walk away from the stove while you are cooking. In restaurants and cafes this is known as ‘Mise en place’ meaning everything in place!



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About this site…

Food habits that are formed during childhood have a big influence on health outcomes on adulthood.

The Back to Basics program helps to expose young children to healthy food to improve their health both now and in the future.

The development of this program has been made possible by the support of:


Medibank Community Fund

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation


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