Eat Your Veggies: How to Overcome Picky Eating

Got a picky eater on your hands? Sick of trying to hide fruits and veggies in your child’s dinner? Struggling to get your child to eat enough healthy nutrients? Sick of the dinner table becoming a battleground? The recommended intake of veggies is 4.5- to 6 serves and a recent study showed that 80% of toddlers aren’t eating enough. So, what can you do?

The food your child eats in the first years of their life has the largest impact on their future health. Studies prove that a diet full of fruits and vegetables increases your child’s happiness, brain power, confidence and helps to protect them from illness which can all lead to greater success and happiness when they are an adult.

It is vitally important that your child understands their body, understands that eating vegetables is about giving their body the fuel it needs, to trust their body and to enjoy healthy eating. If you’ve been told to just hide the veggies in your child’s food, then perhaps it’s time to take a fresh approach by teaching your child the truth about what they are eating and empowering them. That way they can make the healthy choices throughout the rest of their lives.

If you’ve been told to just hide the veggies in your child’s food, then perhaps it’s time to take a fresh approach by teaching your child the truth about what they are eating and empowering them.

Children have a natural curiosity and want to understand how things work. In a study done by psychologists Gripshover and Markman, children were read a storybook that emphasised the key concepts about food and nutrition. The psychologists found that the children who had heard the nutrition books more than doubled their voluntary intake of vegetables during snack time.

One passionate parent decided to try something new to encourage healthy eating in children. Mum to two boys and a former paediatric nurse, Kate Pearce created a fun match-up game that actually teaches your child about the importance of nutrition and encourages healthy eating. Healthy Little Eaters has received plenty of positive feedback from dietitians, educators and parents of picky eaters.

“As nurse and a mother, I believe there is currently a massive educational gap, in that children lack the understanding toward why they should be eating more fruits and vegetables,” Pearce says. “I believe this game fills that missing link.”

Healthy Little Eaters is currently being used in homes, kindergartens and day care centres; by parents, dietitians, school teachers and GPs throughout Australia. It is now in the process of being more widely released.

See next page for more on how the game works…

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