Questions and answers - 5 A DAY
I’ve tried to get my 11 year old son to eat vegetables. But whatever I give him, he says he hates it and refuses. Help!
It can be difficult to get kids to eat things they’ve made up their minds they don’t like - it can take several attempts. So try and do things little by little - he doesn’t have to eat 5 A DAY straight away. First try getting him to put some greens in his mouth by offering him something small, like a sticker as a reward. Next time get him to swallow just a mouthful, then two, and so on. You could also try ‘disguising’ veg, mix a handful of peas into mashed potato, or add some finely chopped peppers to a pizza.
Tyne and Wear
"Ensuring we get the 5 A DAY I now exercise more and Nathan spends less time in front of the TV. I have lost weight and toned up and Nathan is sleeping better."
How do I keep and cook my veg?
Veggies don’t taste as nice when they get older. They also lose some of their vitamins. It’s not a disaster if they do go a bit soft, just boil, stew or mash them. Frozen veg keeps longer and the vitamins are preserved so it’s just as good for you as fresh. Steaming and microwaving are good ways to cook most veg. And if you’re boiling, don’t use too much water or cook them for too long, 5 minutes is enough for most veg - otherwise they’ll go soggy and lose nutrients.
My kids just won’t eat fruit. What do I do?
Well, first you can try making it easier to eat - chop an apple into wedges and take the core out rather than giving it to them whole. You could also try giving them a dollop of lower fat yogurt to dip them in too - it will seem like much more fun.
What if I come across a fruit or vegetable that I don’t recognise and don’t know how to cook?
Half the fun is finding new things and working out what to do with them, and there’s so many exotic varieties available now too, so it’s easy to be experimental. If you find something that baffles you, ask the shopkeeper or stall owner, or look it up on the internet if you know the name of it - you might find a new favourite.
What about potatoes? Do they count as one of my 5 A DAY?
Potatoes are a vegetable, but they don't count towards your 5 A DAY.
Potatoes are classified nutritionally as a starchy food. That’s because when eaten as part of a meal, they are generally used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, pasta or rice.
Potatoes are a good source of energy, fibre, B vitamins and potassium. Although they don’t contain much vitamin C compared to other vegetables, in Britain we get a lot of our daily vitamin C from potatoes because we eat so many.