Two Edinburgh mothers have challenged their families to become more healthy by eating plenty of vegetables, thanks to support from a local community health project – and they have now urged others to follow their lead.
Donna Lumsden and April Forsyth got their families to take on Eat Better Feel Better’s vegetable challenge after hearing about the initiative at Broomhouse Health Strategy Group, which helps people improve their health and wellbeing.
The challenge encourages youngsters to try a new vegetable every day for at least five days. It was conceived after studies revealed that three in ten parents with children aged six months to 18 years have at some point given up trying to feed them vegetables.
Administrator Donna, 40, her partner, postman Colin Stewart, 37, and their twin children, Jude and Harrison, aged six, completed the challenge using recipes and tips from the Scottish Government’s Eat Better Feel Better website.
The campaign provides parents with primary school-aged children the right tools and knowledge to start eating healthily on a budget.
Donna said: “The children can sometimes be fussy when it comes to eating some vegetables so when I heard about the challenge I thought why not give it a go.
“Both Jude and Harrison were really enthusiastic when I told them that we were going to do the challenge. I think the element of being competitive really helped them to focus on what it was we were trying to do.
“The kids tried a variety of new vegetables over the five days, including mushrooms when we made tomato, mackerel and mushroom pasta.
“They also tried chickpeas when I made chickpea fritters. The challenge was a great success as they now regularly eat these vegetables as well as turnip.”
April, 31, and her partner Stuart Tanner, 35, who also have twins Grace and Logan, aged seven, and Jessica, six months, also decided to try the veg challenge.
April said: “Both of my kids are quite good at eating vegetables but sometimes with such busy lives, it can be easy to stick to the same things you always eat. The challenge was a great exercise for us all to look at what we currently eat and to try different vegetables that we could look to add to our diets.
“The kids also loved using the meal planner and getting involved in the cooking.”
Jackie Hall, community development officer at Broomhouse Health Strategy Group, said: “Our group has been supporting the Eat Better Feel Better campaign since it first launched, so we jumped at the chance to take part in the challenge.
“We offer cooking classes, an affordable fruit and veg shop and physical activities to help support the campaign, which we hope will encourage more families in Edinburgh to try it out.
“We are extremely proud of the families who took part and we will keep supporting them.”