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Lisa Kelly

Curator Kids Health Australia

BA Marketing and Mother of Two

WELLBEING

This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes

By Lisa Kelly

Posted  July 9 2017 | 0 Shares

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After watching her own kids play with veggies and create personalities for carrots, eggplants, and broccoli, family dietitian and mum of four Kate Wengier had an idea to help other parents create positive food exposures away from the table: a picture book.

Elijah (12), Oliver (9), Ari (6) and Lily (4) Cordover helped create What if Vegetables Were People, a picture book full of their characters and storylines –  co-written with their mum. 

This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes | Kids Health Australia

The Cordover children hope other kids will benefit from reading the products of their positive food exposures and grow to know and love veggies. 

“Sometimes the hardest part of getting children to eat their veggies is building all of the necessary exposures they need before they are willing to try something new,” Kate says.

Read: Constant exposure is the only sure way to make kids eat vegetables

“It’s so easy to give up after two or three rejections. But you just have to keep on being positive and persevering – this is where things done away from the table, like reading or shopping or cooking, can really help.”

Wengier says teaching children about food away from the table will help put a stop to difficult dinner times. 

She also encourages families to eat colourfully and uses a range of activities which take the pressure off kids and count as positive food exposures.

This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes | Kids Health Australia

Instead of serving up carrots and broccoli and cajoling children to eat veggies, Wengier recommends doing some ground work away from the table, such as:

ï Drawing pictures of vegetables and talk about their colour, crunch and where they grow

ï Involve kids in fruit and veg shopping and ask them to seek and bag various items

ï Start your own herb or veggie garden

ï Involve kids in cooking dinner and making lunch and salads

ï Read about fruit and vegetables in children’s books

Wengier says is it easy for well-meaning parents to get caught up in counting the number of serves of greens and grains and forget to lay the proper foundations for colourful, adventurous eating.

“When kids are starting to read, we don’t hand them Harry Potter and expect them to be able to make any sense of it,” Wengier said.

“The same goes for food. We can’t expect kids to eat what we serve without helping them learn what the vegetables and fruits are that we’re putting in front of them.

“It can take up to 20 food exposures like cooking, gardening and craft to get a child to try a food and then another 20 tries to learn to like it.

“By involving our kids in fruit and veg shopping, either selecting the produce, or counting with them as they are popped in bags and asking them to help with preparing salads and fruit, all of the positive food exposures add up quickly.”

For more information, visit the Foost website.

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 9 July 2017 references
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This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

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This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes

WELLBEING

By Lisa Kelly

After watching her own kids play with veggies and create personalities for carrots, eggplants, and broccoli, family dietitian and mum of four Kate Wengier had an idea to help other parents create positive food exposures away from the table: a picture book.

Elijah (12), Oliver (9), Ari (6) and Lily (4) Cordover helped create What if Vegetables Were People, a picture book full of their characters and storylines –  co-written with their mum. 

This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes | Kids Health Australia

The Cordover children hope other kids will benefit from reading the products of their positive food exposures and grow to know and love veggies. 

“Sometimes the hardest part of getting children to eat their veggies is building all of the necessary exposures they need before they are willing to try something new,” Kate says.

Read: Constant exposure is the only sure way to make kids eat vegetables

“It’s so easy to give up after two or three rejections. But you just have to keep on being positive and persevering – this is where things done away from the table, like reading or shopping or cooking, can really help.”

Wengier says teaching children about food away from the table will help put a stop to difficult dinner times. 

She also encourages families to eat colourfully and uses a range of activities which take the pressure off kids and count as positive food exposures.

This Picture Book is a Veggie-Filled Feast for the Eyes | Kids Health Australia

Instead of serving up carrots and broccoli and cajoling children to eat veggies, Wengier recommends doing some ground work away from the table, such as:

ï Drawing pictures of vegetables and talk about their colour, crunch and where they grow

ï Involve kids in fruit and veg shopping and ask them to seek and bag various items

ï Start your own herb or veggie garden

ï Involve kids in cooking dinner and making lunch and salads

ï Read about fruit and vegetables in children’s books

Wengier says is it easy for well-meaning parents to get caught up in counting the number of serves of greens and grains and forget to lay the proper foundations for colourful, adventurous eating.

“When kids are starting to read, we don’t hand them Harry Potter and expect them to be able to make any sense of it,” Wengier said.

“The same goes for food. We can’t expect kids to eat what we serve without helping them learn what the vegetables and fruits are that we’re putting in front of them.

“It can take up to 20 food exposures like cooking, gardening and craft to get a child to try a food and then another 20 tries to learn to like it.

“By involving our kids in fruit and veg shopping, either selecting the produce, or counting with them as they are popped in bags and asking them to help with preparing salads and fruit, all of the positive food exposures add up quickly.”

For more information, visit the Foost website.

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 9 July 2017
references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • Doc id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

make a comment

0 comments

more articles by Lisa Kelly

view more

latest articles

view more

MEET THE EXPERTS

view more