Eating fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet for both children and adults to maintain any weight loss. Finding creative ways to encourage fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet can be fun for the entire family. There are more vegetables available in fresh, frozen, canned, and dried forms than ever before. Taking the time to introduce a variety of vegetables to kids can help develop a lifetime of healthy habits.
The Importance for Your Kids to Eat Vegetables
Statistics show kids aren’t getting nearly enough fruits and veggies. Only 22% of children ages 2 to 5 meet government recommendations for vegetable consumption, according to a 2009 study by researchers at Ohio State University. It only gets worse as children get older: Just 16% of children ages 6 to 11 meet the government’s guidelines, and only 11% of those ages 12 to 18. In the study of more than 6,000 kids and teens, about a third of vegetable consumption was fried potatoes such as chips and fries, and a little more than a third of the fruit consumption was juice — so if you don’t include those, the percentages get even lower. We also want to emphasis it is not recommended for any person under the age of 18 to do the HCG diet.
It can help to start early, offering your toddler lots of different types of foods and letting them see you eat and enjoy a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Although infants often get a lot of fruit and vegetable in their baby foods, once they start eating table food, what you eat is going to be a big influence on what your kids like to eat. If you rarely serve vegetables with meals or eat fruit, don’t be surprised if your kids develop the same tastes.
It is never too late to get your children interested in vegetables; it just may take a little work. Below will be a few ways to get your children of any age excited about adding beautiful and healthy veggies to their diets!
Tips to Help Your Kids Eat Vegetables
- Appetizers – Before dinner make a small platter with fresh raw veggies for snacking, plate along with a healthy dip such as hummus or organic ranch.
- Plant a small garden – You will find your children proud of what is growing and want to eat them as well as most likely doing some healthy snacking right off the vine!
- Flavor – It’s OK to add a little butter or season them up. This will give them a familiar flavor and help your children be more comfortable with new choices.
- Soup – You can put almost any veggie in a soup and your children will love it. Try out different recipes and add new veggies each time.
- Use different cooking methods – Try steaming, roasting, grilling, and more. Each different cooking method will bring out different flavors that will appeal to your children.
- Disguise them – Do your children love mashed potatoes? Try mashed turnips or cauliflower one night. You will be surprised how they eat them up!
- Let them help – Have this start at the store and let them select veggies they think look pretty or yummy. Continue this at home and let them help prepare the food. They will want to follow through and try their creation!
- Eat them yourselves – Your children follow by example, eat your veggies and they will- it’s that easy. Try to not say you have dislikes, they will learn that this is acceptable and choose to not even try new veggies.