We always love it when our very own nutritionist, Marlo Mittler, MS, RD gives some great nutritional advice! This month? It’s all about getting your kids to veg out…
Getting kids to eat veggies is one of the biggest challenges many parents face. But it’s worth the persistence—a balanced diet with 2-3 servings of vegetables is critical to their development. Don’t despair—there are ways to get veggies into kids’ diets—they might just enjoy them too!
Persistence pays: It can take 10 times over 12 days to develop a new taste bud. While at first a taste may be unappealing, you can develop an affinity for it as it becomes more familiar over a short period of time. Consider giving your kids an age-appropriate taste (usually three bites) and let them rate it. Watch as they learn to like it.
Variety is the spice of life: Your supermarket is stocked with veggies—and some in a surprisingly different form. For example, frozen Veggie Fries and Veggie Tots not only come in five different flavors, but they’re also made from all-natural, farm-grown potatoes, vegetables, beans, and herbs. Each serving contains at least 25% of non-potato vegetable and they bake up crispy, fluffy and warm. It’s the fry to try.
Smooth things out: Smoothies can pack a powerful nutritional punch. Pair neutral, green veggies with a sweet fruit for a great drink. (Hint: Let your kids operate the blender and get involved in the kitchen.)
Zucchini linguini anyone? Everyone seems to love pasta and crispy snacks. Why not chef up some veggie versions of these beloved foods? Butternut squash can be turned into spaghetti with tomato sauce and cheese. Brussels sprout leaves, beets, carrots, and squash can be roasted or sautéed with spices and olive oil for a healthy crispy snack or side dish.
Go for a dip: Kids love choice when it comes to food. And with dips, the sky’s the limit. Set out different veggies with a variety of dips—anything goes: ranch dressing, applesauce, peanut butter or melted cheese.
Taste a rainbow: Not only are farm-fresh vegetables delicious, they also come in a multitude of rainbow-like colors—and the closer to the original source, the better. When given the chance to try fresh vegetables direct from a farm stand, 60% of kids are more likely to give them a try! Show your kids a real carrot, with the root and greens—many have never seen them or tasted them in this form.
Thank you, Marlo! Great advice to live by.
Team Veggie Fries