Freebie Friday! The Gutsy Challenge with Aussie Farmers Direct

Aussie Farmers DirectThe Gutsy Challenge is a health and education initiative from the GI Cancer Institute designed to get kids eating at least 2 fruit and 4 veg every day for a week, to help reverse rising incidences of gastrointestinal cancer. And you could win an Aussie Farmers Direct box of fruit and veg valued at $26, just by entering a really simple competition! Too easy …

How to enter:

We’re looking for tips from mums and dads, on how they get kids to eat vegetables every day. For example, do you have a popular recipe that is laden with invisible vegetables?

Or do you have a clever trick, such as using raw carrot sticks or capsicum sticks as a dipper in a wholesome vegetable dip?

Or perhaps you had a specific strategy way back when you weaned your baby, that trained their palate to love the flavour of fresh vegetables?

Let us know how you get fresh fruit and vegetables into your children’s daily diet and you could win an Aussie Farmers Direct fruit box valued at $26!

Mamamia recently published a great post on GI cancer and the Gutsy Challenge:

Gastro-intestinal cancers (cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and bowel) are the most common form of cancer. GI cancer affects 20,000 Australians each year and kills 26 of us every day. Everything you put in your mouth affects your Gastro Intestinal System and diet as well as other lifestyle factors increases the risk of these cancers.

Gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer:

  • GI cancer is the most common form of cancer
  • 26 Australians die every day from GI cancer
  • 20,000 are diagnosed with GI cancer annually
  • Lifestyle factors, such as a diet low in fibre and high in fat, as well as reduced physical activity, also increases the risk of cancers.

Eating fruit and vegetables every day from a young age will help future generations avoid obesity and related diseases such as GI cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Leave your tip in the comments section below and you’re in with a shot at winning the prize! (Winner will be decided by competition organisers, not me. Competition will run for one week - closing next Friday, August 31, 2012).

15 thoughts on “Freebie Friday! The Gutsy Challenge with Aussie Farmers Direct”

  1. I have one good vegie eater and one who will eat potatoes…. so I add vegies like squash, grated carrot, grated zuchini, capsicum, brocolli (basically to any veg in the fridge really) to all the mince based meals – spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, meatloaf, shepards pie, meatballs, patties etc etc…
    With the mince based meals I love my kids helping, they cut, grate & cook & mostly make a mess but I am not hiding the vegies from them! The more they see them being used as kids the more likely they are to use them as young adults, thats my theory anyway!

  2. Hi Felicity! What a great giveaway!

    We enjoy lots of vegetable soups over winter. The kids are not always as interested in soup so we do some fairly strange dinner table antics to get them to eat it. Firstly we make sure that the soup has cooled down a fair bit and then we get the kids to put their hands behind their back and see how much they can lap up like a dog from their soup bowl. I know this is pretty outrageous table manners we are giving them – let’s hope they don’t stuff their face in a soup bowl the first time they are offered it at a friends house – but it does get them eating (or slurping) the soup before they even realise what they are doing.

    My other tip is get juicing or blending. The kids have a lot of fun with our juicer adding in all the different fruit and veges and watching them turn into a colourful drink. I even put things like baby spinach leaves and cos lettuce through our machine. My eldest developed a lot more interest in eating vegetables at dinner time once I introduced the regular juicing fest as he realised that he actually did like some of the veges I was putting in front of him.

  3. Hi Felicity,
    Have the kids look at receipes before you do the grocery shop, take the kids grocery shopping and spend time in the fruit and veg section, let the kids choose the fruit and veg, talk about what it is, the colour, texture, what it might taste like, what meals they would have previously eaten it in, encourage them to count how many they put in the bag, talk about what foods you will cook with it in. Then at home have them help unpack the groceries, steer them towards the fruit and veggie bag, have them fill the sink with cold water and put all the f & v in and soak for a bit so they are all washed and ready for eating, then they can put them away, always talking about the food, etc. Have kids from a young age help in cutting f & v (obviously supervise etc). The key to getting kids to do anything they are afraid, or apprehensive of, is exposure. Expose them to whatever it is they are avoiding, with encouragement, support and over time, they will come to fear it less.

    For those really fussy kids, who won’t even have certain foods on their plate, make a game of it. However, this takes time, energy and some wasted food, but its worth it in the end. Have a list of foods that the child both likes and dislikes. The foods all need to have something in common, such as the same colour. Give yourself and the child a plate, and bring out the food one by one, talk about what it is, the colour, texture, does it crumble, etc, don’t use words like gross, but use descriptive words only such as soft, big smell, little smell, stringy, runny. Then follow the childs lead and play with the food, have snake races with carrot sticks, build faces with crackers and fruit, etc. The aim is to get the child to firstly pick up the new food, then play with it, maybe racing it up their arm towards their mouth, then maybe give the new food a “lizard lick”, then finally taking a bite, either swallowing or spiting out.

    The key is to make it fun, to reduce the child’s anxiety, take the fear and stress out of eating new foods and hopefully over time, the child will eat the new food. If you’re interested in this procedure, google “SOS feeding”, it has had some success in the past.

    Prior to starting this eating procedure, get the child to blow some bubbles, get a small bowl and put in washing liquid, then let the child put their hands in and rub all over the table, they could then blow the bubbles around, not only is this fun for them and also cleans their hands, but its a psychological technique to reduce their anxiety as it makes the do some deep breathing!

    With my older son, I put tomato or cheese sauce on top of veggies. I also use the tiny side of the grater and grate veggies and include them in meals, they don’t even realise they are there! I also talk to the kids about what foods their bodies need and I relate food to positive areas of their lives, eg, when my son has done well at maths or spelling, I say, you did well on the test because you ate fish the other day, fish makes your brain smarter, or you ran so fast today, thats because you ate your pasta so well last night, pasta gives your body energy, basically I do whatever works!

  4. The kids are pretty good on there fruit and veg. I also add a lot of grated vegies to meals. I need to find a way to get more calcium into the middle childs diet though as she rejects milk, cheese and yoghurt!

  5. I grate veggies in anything I can but my favourites are quiche lasagne and rissoles. Also I find getting them involved with the process is encouraging. Of course with the promise that the vegies won’t be in their dinner. Mums the word ;)

  6. Mine tend to ask for snacks quite close to dinner (as I don’t get home from work until 6 – and they are starving by then). The snacks that they are allowed – because they can be counted as part of dinner, not as spoiling their appetite – are carrots or apples (get them themselves straight out of the fridge), frozen peas, frozen corn or frozen mixed veges. One has the frozen peas as his favourite, the other prefers corn or mixed veges. Cherry tomatoes are popular too – basically any vege that can be eaten raw (so no extra work for me) and fruit that isn’t too filling.

  7. I cant enter the comp but just a tip. A year or two ago, I got a copy of the Womens Weekly that had a health checklist to fill in. I cant recall the name of the campaign (it was something like “swap it, dont stop it”). The kids loved filling in their checklist each day of whether they had eaten two pieces of fruit, 5 veggies, drunk water, done an hour’s exercise etc. It really helped me get my picky eater to try all his veggies, telling him they would count towards his 11 or however many points for the day.

  8. Dinner time with a fussy toddler is challenging but i’ve managed (somehow!) to turn carrots into carrot chippies so it’s a winner here at the moment. corn on the cob with hair (melted cheese) goes down a treat too!

    1. Ah! That reminds me of pizza faces! Lightly toast an English muffin, spread some pasta sauce on it and let the kids create faces for topping! Cooked spaghetti or grated cheese for hair, olives for eyes, cherry tomatoes for nose/cheeks. It was great fun!

  9. For my eldest, I found changing the names of food was the key to get him eating. He would never eat peas, but had no issues with “baby grapes”. Lasagne (chock full of hidden vegies) was “cheesy meat noodles”. Growing things at home also helped – he loves cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and beans because he helped grow them in the backyard.

    1. Growing things seems to be a popular – and guaranteed way – of getting kids to eat vegetables. And it connects them to the knowledge that food comes from the ground and we water the plants and take care of the plants. Good job, Brooke!

  10. Hi, I’m very lucky as my son loves most vegetables & fruit – always has and I believe the key to this was, like many have said – hands on experience & exposure from a very young age.
    My son had a variety of fresh home made baby food from the very beginning … his meals were exactly the same as ours – from raost chicken, to pasta puttanesca, his just got blitzed (minus things like chillies of course). He also was mostly sitting on the bench as I prepared dinner, nibbling away at whatever was there. Like any child he went through phases of not liking or being obsessed with particular foods and I tried to just work with this, so eating dinner was not stressful. I capitalised on his obsessions … when he realised he loved lettuce and I could get him to eat anything I wanted if it was wrapped like a spring roll in lettuce leaves … and if a child wants strawberry yougurt with everything does it really matter if they dip vegemite toast into it. Or with the dislikes, if they don’t eat a particular vegetable for a few weeks – they might just be bored with it and will most likely come back to it if it is not such a big deal but they will always remember and have negative associations to any food you try, against all odds to get them to eat, when they really don’t want to.

I would love it if you would tap out a few words here!