5 Tips to Help Kids Eat their Vegetables
Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day. While it may not be a holiday that most kids look forward to, it gives parents the perfect opportunity to re-commit to working a healthy portion of vegetables into their little ones’ diets.
Here are some dietary recommendations from the CDC for how many servings are needed depending on age and activity level. Real Mom Nutrition has put together a nice visual guide for serving sizes and ideas.
To help you meet the daily guidelines, we’ve rounded up some tricks that can help even picky eaters to eat their veggies:
Butter Them: Kids are naturally sensitive to bitter tastes. A little butter can help mask the bitter taste and enhance the flavor of vegetables like broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and green beans. The fat in butter also aids little bodies in absorbing vitamins from the vegetables.
Dip Them: Studies have found that kids are more likely to eat their veggies if they are served with dip. Although some store-bought options aren’t the healthiest, you can find easy recipes for healthy homemade options online. Try making your own ranch dressing and ketchup.
Drink Them: Sneakz chocolate, vanilla and strawberry milks contain a nutrient-rich mix of five vegetables — carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato, spinach and beets. Kids love the taste, while parents can feel better knowing that Sneakz provides essential nutrients. Every shake of yummy goodness provides 1g of fiber, 5g of protein, and vitamins from whole food sources – including 40% DV of vitamin A, 20% DV of calcium and 6% DV of iron. Made with USDA Organic ingredients, Sneakz contains no GMOs, gluten, carrageenan, antibiotics or synthetic hormones, and no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
Pick Them: One way to get kids interested in vegetables is to give them some control over what goes on their plate. Let them pick a new vegetable to try when grocery shopping or make a trip to a U-pick farm to learn about where their food comes from. You could also try planting your own garden at home. The more involved kids are in picking and preparing vegetables, the more positive associations they will have with them and the more likely they will be to eat them.
Don’t Give Up on Them: It may take 10 or more exposures to a food before children feel comfortable trying and accepting it. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Keep offering the vegetable at different meals and in different ways without putting too much pressure on the kids to taste it or like it. Set a positive example by eating your veggies yourself, and you may just find that your kids will begin following your lead.
Sneakz on You and Me this Morning
Beth Engelman and her son Jackson share fun ways for kids to get on the veggie train.