Kids and veggies sometimes don’t mix and can be the age-old dilemma of every parent! We know that the key to a long and healthy life is to eat a rainbow of chemical and pesticide free veggies, but short of hiding and blending veggies in sauces, how do we get our little tots on board, not just for now, but forever? How do we give them one of the greatest gifts possible…a lifelong love and appreciation for healthy, clean eating?

1. Where possible, buy newly harvested organic produce. It tastes better. Fact. Seems like an obvious statement, but serving up veggies that actually taste good will get the littlies eating what you put in front of them. So, ditch limp, lifeless and nutritionally void produce and go as fresh and organic as you can!

2. Persist and enforce the ‘one bite rule’. Make it an absolute must for your child to take ‘one bite’ and try the veggies put in front of them. But don’t force them to finish it…they just need to take one bite. Research has consistently shown that a rejected food, introduced 8-10 times eventually leads to familiarity and acceptance.

3. Let’s be honest…kids couldn’t care less about ‘being healthy’. What they do care about is being a beautiful princess or as strong as their favourite AFL player. Use this knowledge to your advantage and highlight to them the nutritional value of veggies…that carrots will make your eyes sparkle and that spinach will make you kick goals like Chris Judd!

4. Empower your kids and give them choice. Get the kids involved in the preparation of food and more importantly let them choose what they what to eat. Let them choose their pizza topping and what goes in their rainbow salad. Show them what mother nature has to offer and let them choose.

5. Educate! Children are sponges and are a lot smarter and open to positive reinforcement than we give them credit for. Teach your kids that food is a labour of love and not just picked off a supermarket shelf. Take them to a farm, or get a weekly box of seasonal organic produce delivered home. Teach them the names of different veggies and explain that at different seasons, we get different fruit and veg. Make them shell fresh organic peas and see them delight in the incredible taste and realisation that peas don’t come from a packet!

Ramya Megna is the Girl Boss at Bayside Farmbox who has successfully used these tactics (and the occasional bribery tactic) to mould her 8 and 5 year olds into little foodies!

By Ramya Megna, Bayside Farmbox