It’s a mealtime dilemma for many families. You come home after a long day at work, pull together a tasty, nutritious dinner for your family and invite everyone to sit down together at the table.
That’s when it starts: the veggie standoff. You watch your child enjoy their chicken and dig into their pasta. But, by the end of the meal, their portion of vegetables remains untouched, and there’s no easy way to convince them to eat it.
Ensuring kids are eating the right amount of vegetables for a healthy diet is a big concern for parents – right up there with making sure they are getting enough sleep. What’s a busy and exhausted parent to do?
According to U.S. government nutrition guidelines, children between ages 2-6 should be getting three servings of vegetables a day. A serving is one cup of raw, leafy vegetables, or a half cup of other cooked or raw vegetables. Children older than 6 need even more. For them, the World Health Organization recommends five to nine servings each day.
Healthy eating habits formed when we’re young influence our lifestyle as adults. So making sure children are getting enough vegetables into their diet now gives them a better opportunity for a healthy diet as they grow older.
If your child isn’t fond of vegetables, and you’re tired of the mealtime battle of wills, there are other ways to make sure your little one is getting the proper nutrition – and they don’t even have to know.
Kids may turn up their noses at vegetables in their regular form, but gobble them down when they are chopped, blended or mashed and secretly included in their favorite dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
Spinach: Chopped fine, these leafy greens will be undetected when stirred into pasta sauce. Or toss a handful into your blender when you’re making a blueberry or raspberry smoothie. The kids won’t notice the extra serving of fiber and vitamin A, but you’ll know they’re in there.
Sweet potatoes: Cooked and mashed, this sweet-tasting source of vitamin C can be stirred into macaroni and cheese or whisked into french toast batter.
Carrots: Chopped small and cooked, these can be tucked into meatballs or burgers. Or mash them up and add them to a pasta sauce.
Cauliflower: This veggie packs a surprising punch of vitamin C, and its light color makes it easy to cook and stir into scrambled eggs. It can also be steamed, mashed and stirred into an Alfredo sauce or even a meatloaf.
Another way to be sure children get the nutrients they need is to make a nutritional supplement part of their daily routine.
Nutrilite™ supplements offer a wide range of products for children, including Nutrilite™ Kids Chewable Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables, packed with phytonutrients, and the Nutrilite™ Kids Chewable Daily, which contains more than the recommended daily value of 15 vitamins and minerals.
These great-tasting, easy-to-chew tablets can go a long way toward easing parents’ minds and filling in any gaps in a child’s nutrition.
Between the goodness of supplements and a few sneaky veggie tricks, rest assured your picky eater will be getting all the good nutrition they need.