The fact that kids are not eating enough vegetables is not a new problem. The solution is obvious. Parents need to take action to get their kids to eat more vegetables every day, using their imagination, patience and good sense of flavor.
The last national survey conducted in Spain, which surveyed 3500 children and adolescents on their eating habits, revealed that kids were far from reaching the goal of five servings a day. In the light of our knowledge about kids' underconsumption of vegetables, which is confirmed by this study and others, parents and lunch attendants at school should encourage kids to eat more vegetables. Why? A balanced diet helps kids reach their maximum growth and developmental potential. It also helps prevent them from developing chronic diseases and other medical conditions later on in life.
The following tips can help you increase the quantity of vegetables your kids eat at every meal:
Take advantage of the power of color. Choose fun and exciting ways to present dishes so they are colorful and appealing to the eye. Mix different colored vegetables such as: broccoli, pumpkin and red peppers together. You'll improve the chances that your kids will begin to eat more vegetables by improving the way they look.
Make vegetables easily accessible. Put tasty and easy-to-eat vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and celery sticks in your child's lunchbox. At home, have cut up and cleaned vegetables in easy-to-reach places in the refrigerator, so your kids can access them at any time. This will increase the chances they will eat more vegetables and increase the likelihood that they will receive the nutrients their growing bodies need.
Turn vegetables into tasty side dishes. Stir-fry vegetables in a small amount of olive oil, or make vegetable skewers and throw them on the grill. Varying the way the vegetables are prepared, makes them more appealing and interesting to kids.
Include vegetables in desserts.Put your cooking skills to the test and make carrot cake or sweet pumpkin bites. There are lots of tasty recipes that include nutrient-dense vegetables that your kids will love.
Plan a picnic with "green" sandwiches. Buy a loaf of delicious whole grain bread and and add vegetables such as lettuce, portobello mushrooms, and carrots to make a colorful, creative, and tasty sandwich. You'll see your kids eat vegetables without even realizing it, or making funny faces.
In the end, you will get your kids to join the ranks of fellow vegetable lovers who adore vegetables for their flavor and nutritional value.
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