By Adrian Sparrow
Adding More Vegetables to Your Child’s Diet
Eating fruits and vegetables is vital for a healthy diet. Unfortunately, some kids didn’t get the message. Many children can be picky eaters, making a balanced diet even more difficult. How do you get more veggies in your child’s diet?
People who eat more vegetables and fruits are less likely to develop chronic diseases and keep blood cholesterol in check. Eating a healthy diet rich in certain vegetables can protect against certain cancers and reduce the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. By choosing healthy foods now, you can promote good nutritional habits for your kids that will last for life.
Schedule Meals and Snacks
Kids need 3 meals a day, with snacks in between. Plan ahead and stock snacks like baby carrots and celery sticks to take with you on outings.
Add vegetables to every meal. Pack a side salad in your child’s lunch or a small bottle of vegetable juice. Try out vegetarian recipes for familiar favorites like spaghetti or chili. Mushrooms, eggplant, tofu, and jackfruit are just a few delicious, stealthy alternatives to meat.
Make It Fun
Experiment with condiments. Try serving veggies with a side of hummus or guacamole. Other dips and sauces can be used to liven up snack time and add extra nutrients. Cut vegetable slices into stars and other fun shapes. Have your kids help you cook and make smiley faces with veggies on their plates.
Add Something Sweet
Kids love sweet things, and dishes like baked sweet potato fries and glazed carrots can be a tasty way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. Their tastes will naturally change as they grow up, lessening the need for extra sweetness.
Cut Back on Junk
Treats are alright in moderation, but if cookies and candy aren’t in your pantry in the first place, kids will be less likely to ask for them. Limit soda and juice drinks that are high in added sugars. Be a role model to your kids and eat more vegetables yourself.