The Veggienauts Club subscription boxes have been praised by parents, nutritionists and subscribers as being perfect for reluctant eaters (as well as kids who already love their veg!). Our mission is to make food FUN, bringing parents and children together for adventures both in the kitchen and outside in nature. And part of that fun means the recipes and activities should be entirely pressure free.
Bearing that in mind, we put our heads together with Registered Nutritionist Emily Caroline to come up with some simple advice on how to 'do' a Veggienauts Club box. Boxes come complete with all the instructions you need to embark on your Veggienaut mission, but these extra little tips might make the difference between tasting an ingredient once and learning to love it for life :-)
Manage your own expectations that the boxes will ‘get’ your child to eat or try a vegetable. It’s not about that. The point of the boxes is bringing the fun and exploration back to food, so bring your sense of adventure!
Avoid asking or expecting your child to try anything or eat the final dish. If you keep quiet, it will more than likely come and research shows that pressure to eat can often backfire.
Do the exploration activities before the recipes. You could also further explore the vegetable by looking it up online - the see and eat website is fantastic See and Eat.
Get involved and eat the recipes yourself. Serve as part of a family meal or snack, alongside foods your child typically enjoys. This way they have the opportunity to try a bit if they choose to. The ‘success’ is that you have had fun together and explored a vegetable - not whether it was eaten or not.
Include the vegetables from past boxes regularly in your cooking afterwards, in their whole format as well as within dishes. We know from research that when children are more familiar with a vegetable, they may feel more comfortable with eating it of their own accord.
The boxes are brilliant for sparking children’s innate curiosity. This can help to develop children's intrinsic or inner desire to want to eat a vegetable. Look out for the beetroot stamp activity coming in July - we've had reports from dozens of testers that their child tried raw beetroot for the first time! :-)
The stickers are fabulous collector items! The sticker should be given at the start, as part of the fun when opening the box. Avoid withholding the sticker as a ‘reward’ for trying the vegetable. We know that external or extrinsic factors to eat may not work in the long term (ie getting a sticker purely for tasting).
Allow your child to pick and choose what activities they want to do, spreading them out over a week or the whole month. One activity that the child is excited to do is better than several that they don’t feel like doing that day.
Our June AUBERGINE boxes are still available to order here. More information on July's BEETROOT box coming soon.