Five a day. That's the minimum. How many of us moms get five veggies and fruits into our children's diets each day? Or how many of us moms even eat five a day? It's tough. But vegetables are Nature's Bounty... full of oh-so-much more than just vitamins and minerals. Vegetables contain health-giving properties that are just now being discovered. This kind of stuff doesn't fit on the "Nutrition Facts" label!
Did you know that organic vegetables have 30-90% more nutrients than conventional vegetables? For moms with finicky eaters, this is a very important fact. By purchasing organic vegetables, we are getting a lot more nutrients for our money... and for our effort, considering how difficult it can be to get children to eat their greens.
So, what works for me? There are several books published within the last year that describe in detail how to fool your kids into eating their veggies. There is some merit in that. But what happens when the child grows up? Isn't it important to train their tastes to eat (maybe enjoy!) vegetables? Don't we want them to choose vegetables on their own? That's where my WFMW tip comes in...
I slip tiny bits of vegetables into my children's favorite meals. Chili and Spaghetti Sauce work particularly well. The rule of thumb is: the more picky the eater, the smaller you'll have to dice and the less you'll add in at first. BUT, here is an often missed key: you want to increase both the size you chop the veggies AND the amount added in. The goal is to raise a child who will tolerate (maybe enjoy!) vegetables.
We all have our favorites. Even I don't like all vegetables. But I do love fresh food. And I'd like my children to learn that appreciation for goodness too. Does your child love vegetables? Prepare the ones he prefers as side dishes... and sneak the ones you want him to learn to like into other foods. Just don't forget to gradually increase!
Tonight we had whole wheat pasta with a vegetable spaghetti sauce. I added bits of onion, mushroom, zucchini, red bell pepper, garlic and swiss chard. That may be a little over the top for your kids right now. So start small. And work your way up to an easy five-a-day!
For more works-for-me Wednesday tips visit RocksInMyDryer.net.
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