You are probably like most moms and go to great lengths to convince your kid to eat their vegetables. But if you start early maybe you won’t have this battle until they are 18. Once kids have tasted some of the good food there is out there like chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese they don’t want to go near the green stuff. I think the secret here is to prepare the green stuff in a simple way that the kids will enjoy. But don’t you think you want to know why it’s such a good idea to convince them? Here the top reasons why you should include and enjoy veggies in every meal.
- FIBER: Eating a diet heavy with fiber helps prevent constipation and irregular bowel movement. Vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber acts as a broom to sweep the toxins out of your body and keeps your digestive system running in tip top shape.
- VITAMINS: Your ABC vitamins make your skin glow, your eyes bright and keep your immunity working well. That means that your child will get sick less often.
- ANTIOXIDANTS: If you are looking for a way to stay younger longer, then vegetables and fruits are your answer. They are rich with antioxidants that will prevent premature aging caused by free radicals and also protect from cancer causing substances.
- WATER: Vegetables have a high water content and most are practically fat-free. Some you actually burn more calories eating then the veggie contained. So when you snack on a piece of fruit or vegetable you will be satiated longer and will crave carbs less.
Those reasons probably sold you on including more vegetables in your own diet. Kids also follow by example, if your eating your broccoli then they are more likely to eat theirs also.
Pediatricians recommend introducing veggies into baby’s diet as early as 6 months. Vegetables are rarely allergenic so they are a great first food for your little one. You could start with pureed peas, carrots and potatoes. My daughters first was sweet potatoes and she loved them and still loves them. Introducing New Food to Baby
If your child still protests the vegetables or you do yourself here are some sneaky ways to add them to your meal without anyone even knowing.
- Boil carrots and then strain or puree finely and add to your spaghetti sauce.
- Add pureed beats to your pizza sauce
- Making mashed potatoes? Mash some squash or cauliflower in there.
- When making hamburger patties add minced broccoli and strained peas.
- Sneak green beans or spinach into salsa, dips or pickle relish.
- When making your favorite smoothie add carrots to the blender.
- Add spinach to any fruit smoothie, it’ll turn the drink green, but you won’t taste spinach.
- Make bread using veggies: pumpkin bread, zucchini bread/muffins or carrot cupcakes. Top with cream cheese and some nuts.
Sneaking vegetables is great but you can’t always be there to do it, so here are some great techniques to get your kids to face their fear and crunch away.
- Kids get so excited to help mom cook dinner. So involve them in the meal making. They will take pride in what they have created and who knows if there are some carrot sticks sitting on the counter they may munch or a few.
- Give them choices, but don’t make the other choice to appealing, ie. vegetable lasagna or saltine crackers. Most kids will cave and sample the veggie lasagna and will not go hungry by nibbling a few crackers.
- Do NOT use dessert as a bribe. This will create a bad habit and will not teach your kids to enjoy their veggies it teaches them to scarf them down to be rewarded. Their reward is feeling great and healthy by eating their vegetables.
- Keep a Tupperware with washed and cut veggies at easy reach in the kitchen or in the fridge. If they come wandering in for a snack and see sliced carrots and celery next to some ranch, they may opt for that instead of digging around to find something unhealthy. Hide all the unhealthy snacks high in the pantry and only pull down when you want them to have some.
- Let them grocery shop with you and pick out what healthy food they would like to eat that week. If they are choosing they will be more prone to eating it at home.
In recent studies it is estimated that nearly 70% of children do not like to eat their veggies. If all of us moms and dads make an effort to change this, our children can grow to be happy and healthy adults. And hey it isn’t to late for all us adults to enjoy our vegetables too.
HEALTHY VEGETABLE RECIPES
Your kids are never too young to start enjoying their veggies!
Grocery Shopping and filling her cart with what she wants to eat that week. Trust me this is a big winner with us.