Getting More Vegetables Into Your Day
The strongest and most consistent message emerging from nutritional research is we all need to eat more vegetables. No other food or supplement can match the unique combination of nutrients and food components provided by vegetables. In general, you should aim for about five serves of vegetables each day. Younger children need a little less.
Here are some tips on how to get more vegetables in your diet, and your family’s:
1) Role model vegetable eating to your children. They are more likely to develop a habit of eating vegetables if they see it as a normal part of family meals.
2) Don’t make a fuss when kids don’t eat vegetables. Just remove the food and try again at the next meal.
3) Persevere with children. Some studies suggest that a child needs to try a food 8 – 15 times before it is is accepted. Keep putting vegetables on the plate even if initially your child indicates dislike.
4) It’s better for younger children to have very small amounts, e.g. a couple of slices of carrot, a teaspoon of peas. Large serves can be off-putting and you will all feel better when you see an empty plate.
5) Always have a plate of chopped raw vegetables on the table or to munch on while preparing dinner. Many children prefer raw vegetables to cooked.
6) Snap-frozen vegetables are convenient and retain a high nutrient content.
7) Place communal dishes of vegetables on the table and allow family members to serve themselves.
8 ) Experiment with the way you prepare vegetables. Sometimes the size of the slice or the shape can make a difference.
9) Give all vegetables a chance. They should taste better and add interest to your children.
10) Providing a variety of healthy dips, dressings and sauces with vegetables can sometimes encourage children to try new things.