Tips for getting your children to eat more vegetables
Tania Carballo is on a mission.
The Goodstart Early Learning Box Hill – Canterbury Road
chef believes children are eating too much unhealthy food that is laden with fats and hidden chemicals.
Part of her mission is to create home-style healthy food for the children who attend the centre by revamping the menus, and using organic, natural and wholesome ingredients.
“In recent years I have become increasingly alarmed at the growth of unhealthy and sometimes chemical-based ingredients unnecessarily and extensively put in to the everyday foods that we eat,” Ms Carballo said.
“I am seeking to bring a simple, home-style spirit to the menu with a focus on only natural and wholesome ingredients, prepared in methods that ensure all children enjoy them.”
Ms Carballo said her menu had been constructed based on scientific evidence put forward by the World Health Organisation. She has eliminated all trans-fats, processed meat, MSG, and excess sugar from the menu.
Dishes on the menu include vegetarian gratin, nut-free chicken pesto pasta, spiced butternut pumpkin and chicken korma with couscous. One day a week the children have a vegetarian-based dish, and fish is used at least once a week.
Ms Carballo is part of a centre which has a strong focus on sustainability. Herbs and vegetables are grown in the garden and used for meals in the kitchen. The team plans to build a communal garden in the grounds where families can help themselves to produce to take home.
Box Hill – Canterbury Road centre director Brooke Garwood said they loved their chef and supported her ideas 100 per cent.
“She’s all about healthy eating which is great,” Ms Garwood said. “She’s stays away from all bad fats and talks about the benefits of organic foods. The families love it and so do we.”
Tips for feeding you children vegetables:
- We all know many children don't like vegetables but instead of trying to force them to eat things they don’t want, encourage them to try a tiny taste individually and encourage them to try new foods.
- Talk to your child about the importance of vegetables, and about their nutritional value.
- Use the vegetables your children do enjoy rather than making them eat the ones they don’t.
- Make vegetables an easily accessible snack in the fridge – carrots, broccoli, celery and beans are all good options.
- Serve vegetables and salad at every meal so children get used to seeing them on their plates.
- Grate vegetables in to bolognaise sauces, and add them wherever you can.
- Let your children choose their favourite vegetables at the supermarket, and encourage them to be involved in the cooking process.