Friday, January 30, 2009

Did You Know ~ Veggies ROCK!

Did You Know that tots should eat 1 cup of veggies each day? We all know how important eating vegetables is for our health. Veggies not only provide phytochemicals such as vitamins and minerals, which help protect us against diseases, they are also an important source of fiber. Different veggies contain different vitamins, so it is important to include as much variety as possible. However, getting our tots to actually eat their veggies is often a struggle.

Here are some tips to encourage your tot to eat these highly nutritious foods:

  1. Eat it Raw. Tots frequently do not like cooked veggies, but actually do not mind them raw. Try offering your tot a variety of sliced raw veggies, such as carrot sticks, bell pepper, cucumber, celery, snow peas etc. The best time to serve this healthy finger food is while you are preparing lunch or dinner. This is usually the time where your tot is the hungriest and is asking for a snack anyways.
  2. Dip it. Tots often like dipping their food. Take advantage of this and offer a dip with their veggies. Some possibilities are: cottage cheese, cream cheese, guacamole, peanut butter, hummus, or yogurt.
  3. Add them to anything. You can add veggies to many dishes your tot already likes. For example, you can add bell pepper and mushrooms to pasta with tomato sauce, or you can add peas, broccoli or spinach to macaroni and cheese. Also try to add veggies to lasagna, tacos, burritos, and casseroles. Veggies also make a great pizza topping.
  4. Sneak them in. You can sneak pureed veggies into soups or add shredded carrots or zucchini to your muffin recipe. Two books with recipes and tips about creative ways to do this are: Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef.
  5. Roast your veggies. Roasting your veggies in the oven makes them taste sweeter. As a bonus, it is super time efficient. Just toss veggies with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt before roasting.
  6. Make veggie art. Create colorful faces with olive- slice eyes, tomato ears, mushroom noses, bell-pepper mouths, and any other playful features you can think of.
  7. Be a good example. Your tot will be much more likely to eat his/her veggies when he/she sees you eat yours! Plus, it’s healthy for you too!

Please read our Did You Know ~ disclaimer below.


Unknown said...

Great start to your healthy corner!

Another great tip to remember - if your child eats the size of their fist of each food they have had enough. They don't need the same portions we eat. Their tummies are about the size or a bit bigger than their fists. Variety is key and add raisins in with carrots and peas. Add avocado in with tomato and cucumber - healthy sea salt.

Something a very wise person once told me - "Food is a gift from God, treat it as such." God created a bountiful of healthy foods that were perfect for our bodies. Feed His holy vessel all that He created. It gets real simple what to eat when you disregard all the foods that don't add life to your body.


Sincerely Anna said...

Great post! I think the last point is key for me to remember - being a good example.

One idea that's worked for us is having individual serving-size baggies of cut-up veggies in the fridge - ready to grab on the go. I'm not so stressed about vegetable portions at dinner if I know my son ate a baggie of carrots or cucumbers while we were out running errands.

Sarah Mae said...

I need to do something! My son (1 1/2) will NOT eat veggies!

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Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

My goal for this month is to incorporate more fresh veggies into our meals. Thanks for the tips and encouragement.