Ghazala Yousuf, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian, The Portland Hospital
Q. My child refuses to eat any vegetables. What can I do to ensure he gets the nutrition that he needs?
A. If your child won't eat vegetables, it can certainly make mealtimes difficult - and it can cause anxiety for parents who may become concerned that their little ones are missing out on important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Fortunately, it is possible to tempt an unwilling child - and here are some tips to help you incorporate these valuable foods into their diet:
1. Instead of water, try cooking your child’s vegetables in homemade chicken or beef stock.
2. Try topping a dish of cooked vegetables, whether cut-up or pureed, with grated cheese. Many children appreciate this subtle difference. Alternatively, you could try serving your vegetables pieces with a cheese dip. Cheese is packed with calcium and good source of protein and vitamins.
3. Offer your child a plate of cooked vegetables or a bowl of salad at the start of the meal. They will be hungrier and more likely to give them a try!
4. Stir finely chopped vegetables into your child’s favourite pasta sauce or soup –or sneak grated carrot or pumpkin into homemade muffins.
5. Broaden your child’s palate by cooking with herbs and spices. They not only liven up a meal, but also offer health benefits, such as ginger aiding digestion.