Most veggies tend to be very filling, so they provide a great snack alternative to the popular, processed snacks.
Diets that are high in fruits and vegetables may also reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
According to the CDC, half of our plate should be made up of fruits and veggies!
Ask yourself, is your family getting enough fruits and vegetables each day?
Today's young people, on average are getting far too little fruits and veggies.
Our children are turning to sugary, high-fat snack alternatives that can carry long-term health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
how do we help our children increase the amount of fruits and veggies in their diet?
Teach them the benefits...help them learn about each one!
They more they know about a specific fruit or vegetable, the more they may give it a try.
Plant a garden.
Make this a learning opportunity to teach your children about these nutrients. If they grow it themselves, they'll take pride in it and possibly want to add it to their dinner plate and share with friends and family.
Serve them with every meal.
If a child knows that part of his/her plate is filled with healthy nutrients each time, one day they might stop focusing on avoiding it and they'll TRY IT!
I usually introduce a new fruit or veggie by my husband and I trying it first. No pressure on the kiddos, but help them SEE that you love it, it tastes good and I've found that if we don't make a big deal about it, they'll pick it right up!
*For picky eaters, try chopping the veggie into very small bites. This way the texture tends to be easier for the child to handle. I've added chopped zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies to whole wheat macaroni dishes and the boys LOVE it!
Cook with your kids.
If they are helping prepare the meal, they will be so excited to try all of the things they created. I promise. Roast the cauliflower and make "popcorn" as a before meal snack! They'll think it's so fun to sprinkle and watch it in the oven that they'll possibly forget it's good for them too :)
**Obviously a vegetable is best when raw, HOWEVER some children have a texture issue or just plain do not like raw veggies.
For these children, I suggest a Greek yogurt dip!
You can add 1/2 ranch dry packet, onion, cheese...or any flavor choice and allow them to dip their veggies!
It makes snacking healthy and FUN! We even prepare roasted veggies, barely cooked in the oven to cut the crunch and we still dip them!
The Greek yogurt adds protein to their meal without them knowing it too! Yay!
How do you help your family get the fruits and vegetables they need each day?
If you have a picky eater, I'd love for you the share your secrets with my readers...