Fun and Easy Ways to Incorporate Veggies to Your Kids’ Meals
Most of us have, in some point in our lives, encountered that ubiquitous food pyramid.
You know…that triangle that was supposed to tell us what types of food and how much of it we should be eating? If you weren’t following the news, you may be surprised to find out that pyramid was actually replaced in 2011! Then First Lady Michelle Obama had unveiled a new graphic to illustrate healthy eating habits– a colorful plate divided into four sections — fruit, vegetables, grains and protein — with a small portion of dairy on the side. While this serves as a great guide for us and our families, how do we ensure our kids are getting enough of what they need especially on portions of vegetables?
Let’s face it, most kids just don’t like vegetables. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps our society is overly inundated with sugary-laden foods, skewing our taste buds. Or maybe we aren’t setting a good example for our children by not showing them how delicious and beneficial veggies could actually be! We hope some of these tips below help you incorporate more servings of vegetables for your children’s balanced diets.
Cook with your kids: there’s nothing like taking ownership and pride in the kitchen! Look up a healthy dinner or breakfast recipe with vegetables with your child and plan to cook it together. You can this even more interactive by taking your child to the grocery store to hand-pick the vegetables and ingredients you will use for cooking.
Dress it up: sometimes, plain old carrots are just too boring alone! Try creating a healthy yogurt based dip for veggies like broccoli, zucchini, grape tomatoes, and celery.
Think outside of the box: your tried and true recipes may be fine for you, but old and tired for your kids! Think of different recipes you can try that use vegetables as the main ingredient, not just a side dish! Perhaps it might be grilled tofu tacos or cheesy veggie stuffed eggplants. Explore flavors from around the world for even more ideas. Check out these vegetarian main dishes from epicurious.com! Also, watch this video where Dr. Gill explains more about Planting the Seeds for Raising Healthy Children.
Check out HealthyChildren.org to get some more great tips!