Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting your kids to eat Fruits and Veggies!

So lets face it... We all at some time or another have a hard time getting our kids to eat a particular food. Even as adults sometimes won't try certain things. I know I will cook Eggplant for my family but I do not eat it.We probably aren't to concerned about our kids not eating it if it isn't something healthy.  If it does happen to be a fruit or more then likely veggies that they won't eat, then hopefully this will help.
Now, remember, Moms, pick your battles!!

I have been reading on some ways to "hide veggies in your kids food." I know we don't all get the recommended amount and it wouldn't hurt us, as parents, to practice what we preach, now would it?

Here are some options for helping your kids eat more fruit and veggies:
  •  let your kids pick the fruits they want to eat when you go shopping
  • mix fruit pieces in with yogurt or serve them with a dip
  • make fruit smoothies
  • offer a fruit salad, with a mix of watermelon, grapes, strawberries, etc. as a dessert or snack
  • make a snack mix with raisins, nuts and cereal
  • add chopped fruit, especially berries and bananas, to your child's cereal
  • try dried fruits
  • mix in some chopped fruit with jell-o 
Fruit isn't usually the big problem though. Getting kids to eat their veggies is usually the bigger challenge.
Creative ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables can include camouflaging them in with other foods, like chopping up and mixing vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagna, casseroles, soup, chili, omelets, etc. or adding veggie toppings to pizza. You can even find recipes for things like banana raisin pancakes, carrot beef meatballs or zucchini cookies, that your kids might enjoy.
It might also help to:
  • offer chopped veggies with a dip, like ranch dressing
  • serve vegetables as a stir-fry
  • let your child help prepare the meal
Getting kids to eat well, and especially eat fruits and vegetables is a challenge for many parents. To help prevent your child from becoming a picky eater, you should:
  • start early by offering a large variety of foods to your toddler
  • make mealtimes fun and don't try to force your kids to eat things they don't want
  • look for creative ways to offer your kids fruits and vegetables 
If all else fails, consider offering a multi-vitamin and talk to your Pediatrician.

It can also help to learn about the serving sizes of fruits and vegetables so that your expectations aren't too high. For toddlers, a serving of vegetables may be as small as a tablespoon per year of age and a 1/2 piece of fresh fruit. Older kids should eat 1 whole fruit, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables to count as a serving.

I will be posting some recipes with "hidden veggies" in them.. Check them out! 

note: I will be putting them under the following labels:
Family Kitchen, Hidden Veggies, Recipes

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