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Ever try to get your child to eat her/his veggies and failed miserably? If you are like many parents, you may be searching for clever ways to sneak veggies into meals because your kids just won’t eat them.
Picky eating is common in young children, especially when it comes to vegetables and other healthy foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine out of 10 children don't eat enough vegetables.
But they should. Vegetables provide nutrients that are vital to good health. Eating a diet rich in vegetables may help reduce the risk for health issues later, include type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vegetable consumption with every meal and snack. How many veggies does your child need to eat in a day? It depends on her/his age, gender and activity level. According to choosemyplate.gov site, the daily recommended vegetables for children are:
Aim to make half of your child’s plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter whole grains and one-quarter protein.
Knowing veggies are important is one thing. Getting your child to eat them is an entirely different challenge. Try these 11 tips for getting your child to eat her/his veggies:
As you look for clever ways to incorporate veggies into your child’s diet, watch out for frozen vegetable products (e.g., cauliflower tots, veggie pasta) with added flavorings and sauces, which can be high in sodium and preservatives.
Need some help coming up with a menu for the day? Try these ideas:
By introducing your child to healthful foods now, you can establish lifelong healthy eating habits.
If you're concerned that your child isn’t getting the recommended daily nutrients, talk to her/his primary care doctor. Your child’s doctor may recommend a daily supplement or multivitamin, and may refer you to a dietitian.
Learn more about children’s services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Get cooking! Browse our Healthy Driven recipes.
Do you have any advice for parents to make veggies more appealing to kids? We would love to hear your thoughts in the below comments!
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