Sunday 25 December 2011

Health-conscious new year's resolution - Let children play with their food !

Playing with food, experimenting and generally getting children involved in cooking and meal preparation could be the secret ingredient to help families embrace a healthy diet full of veggie goodness. According to a recent survey by Green Giant, 78% of parents across the UK confirmed getting their children involved in cooking the meal resulted in nearly 74% willingly eating all the food they had helped to make – including the vegetables.

The survey of 1,000 parents revealed allowing children into the kitchen, shopping with them for food and generally encouraging them to get involved with activities around food increased their willingness to eat.

World Champion athlete and Olympian Colin Jackson is an ambassador for Green Giant Sweetcorn. Reflecting on his childhood, Colin remembers his mum introducing vegetables into his diet at a young age using games to encourage him to experiment and be inquisitive with his fruit and vegetables choices. Colin said: “My mother would take us around the supermarket and ask us to identify the vegetables to keep us interested in the shopping process. At the time it was considered a game by myself, and my siblings but now I realise it was a really clever way to introduce us to new vegetables. I was always fascinated with the purple vegetables to see if they tasted purple.”

Colin is supporting Green Giant’s awareness campaign to eat 5-a-day, every way. Colin loved Green Giant Sweetcorn as a child and he is a firm believer in experimenting with food and adding a fun element including:-

Playing with food outside mealtimes

Visiting ‘pick your own’ farms to get children interested in fruit and vegetables

Experimenting with raw and cooked varieties

Introducing different texture and flavours at meal times until you find one they like i.e. mixing up sweet potato and cauliflower

1,000s of parents have joined Green Giant’s campaign for Veggie Goodness on Facebook offering tips and sharing the fun ways they get their children involved in cooking. These include planting vegetable gardens, visiting food markets and generally getting children involved in the kitchen. Letting children play with vegetable s outside normal meal times and presenting vegetables in different shapes, sizes and textures.

Tactics ranged from turning cauliflower pink with natural food colouring and renaming vegetables to encourage their families to enjoy their vegetables.

Dad of two Eric Van Genderen has twins Reece and Dana age 8yrs and he struggles to get them to eat their 5-a-day. Eric has tried all kinds of tactics but both are as bad as each other. He said; “you just have to keep trying and if spending time in the kitchen with them works then it’s worth the extra time, effort and mess. However much we struggle they do eat Green Giant sweet corn.”

Why not make your New Year’s resolution to get your children involved with shopping, cooking and preparing meals in 2012. Green Giant Sweet corn is an easy way to one of your 5-a-day – Colin Jackson has loved Green Giant since he was a child.

You could end with a world class athlete on your hands or at the very least a healthy balance diet for you are your family.

Visit  - for recipes and healthy eating hints and tips to help you and your family on your way to 5-a-day. Each month Green Giant will also give away a limited number of FREE height charts so you can watch you little ones grow. Share you comments, recipes ideas and tips with other parents on Facebook for a happy, healthy start to 2012.

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