Forcing your kids to eat vegetables or fruits they have told you they dislike can lead to deep-rooted negative feelings about those foods. Sally Girvan, a paediatric dietician and a member of the Dietitian’s Association of Australia, says, “The more pressure that we put on children to eat certain foods, the less likely they are going to want to try it.”
Instead, offer up a variety of fruit and vegetable choices and ask them which ones they like best.
“What I usually suggest is to always offer a ‘non-preferred food’ with the ‘preferred food’ at most meals and snacks,” says Sally. “So, if your child only eats apples, offer them a cut-up fruit platter that has apples, but also some other fruits like strawberries, grapes or pears.
“This is based on the ‘Division of Responsibility’ developed by Ellen Satter, a Dietitian in the USA. The principal point is the parent decides what, where and when to provide food, and the child can decide how much or how little they wish to eat.”