Friday 2 December 2011

How to get your children to eat their greens... make a song and dance about it!!

 Getting Children to eat their '5 a day' is no easy task, but it is one that's on most mothers minds at mealtimes! I am quite lucky that both my son Benjamin, who is four and my daughter Elizabeth, who has just turned one really enjoy eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, but I do know that's it's not so easy for everyone! I have friends that go to great lengths to 'hide' vegetables in their children's meals! But why should we be trying to trick our children into eating healthily? Surely we want them to grow up choosing to eat well?

Recent research commissioned by organic baby food manufacturers Ella's Kitchen, reveals that toddlers who use all their senses to 'play' with vegetables outside of mealtimes are more likely to eat them than those who don't. The study found that toddlers who experienced new vegetables through sight, smell. sound and touch before actually tasting were much more willing to eat them! This rings true in my experience, as being a vegetarian, I cook with a wide variety of vegetables and we have organic veg boxes delivered on a regular basis, as well as growing some in the garden, which Benjamin loves helping with! I do like to think that this has contributed towards his healthy eating habits!

The research mentioned above recommends using all the senses to introduce fruit and vegetables to your children. Some great ideas for this are getting out in the garden and growing a small vegetable patch together, cooking and preparing food together, playing with 'toy' fruit and vegetables (there are some adorable wooden sets available these days) and telling stories and singing about different types of fruit and veg!

To give Mummies a helping hand the lovely folks at Ella's Kitchen have teamed up with Celeb Mum Rachel Stevens to record 5 'tasty tunes' set to the melody of popular nursery rhymes! These include In the fruit bowl, on the tree, Yummy, yummy, yum! Eat to make you Feel good, Veggie Hokey Cokey and Fruit and veg are great to eat! Each song has been specially written to get tiny taste buds excited about munching and crunching on healthy fruit and veg and all five of these are free to Download from!

We have been listening to these this week and think they're great! Ben has now learnt most of the words and sings along while Elizabeth has started bopping away when they come on, which is so cute! Our personal favourite is the 'Veggie Hokey Cokey' which is rather catchy (I caught myself singing it to myself on the bus the other day!) Ben has been teaching Elizabeth the actions too!

I think this is a lovely idea, and will will continue to listen and bop away to them! Hopefully they will help Elizabeth develop the same healthy attitude to fruit and veg that Benjamin has.

Don't forget that if you're not already signed up as a 'friend' of Ella's Kitchen by signing up here not only are you able to download these fab songs but you can also get a free weaning guide, a voucher for 50p off New Nibbly Fingers, plus the chance to get a fab free TerraCycle lunchbag!

So why not have a listen and and a dance with your little ones to Yummy, Yummy, Yum! or the Veggie Hokey Cokey and let me know what you think?

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