Wednesday, December 1

Fruits Vegetables and Kids

Childrearing tips on feeding kids fruits and vegetables might seem redundant at least to some parents. But the surprising fact is that there are Mums and Dads who think it's no big deal. At least some parents think it's okay as long as they are eating some kind of food and not going hungry. Raising children anyway calls for, what they see as, far more important issues than insisting that children eat their fruits and vegetables. Well, not quite. 
fruits and vegetables are healthy options
Photograph courtesy Almogaver-morguefile.com


Fruits and Vegetables are Important

Fruits, vegetables and kids sometimes don't mix. And this is one thing that parents easily give up on. But fresh fruits and vegetables have a very important role in children's diet. They supply essential nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins in their natural form. These are the building blocks of good physical fitness and mental health as the child grows into adulthood. Make it a natural part of their lives. 

Fruits are healthy snack options
Photograph courtesy Richcd-morguefile.com

Eating fruits and vegetables as a matter of routine is an invaluable habit that parents can help inculcate in their children quite easily during the early childhood years. After that it might become an uphill task. Include fruits in breakfast and snack menus and veggies in lunch and dinner menus quite normally as you would chicken and dessert.


More Vegetables than Fruits


Most kids love tomatoes
Photograph courtesy Irisheyes-morguefile.com
While kids should be encouraged to eat both fruits and vegetables, ideally you should give more importance to vegetables. The fructose in fruits is converted to sugar and so it might become too much of a good thing where a child's health is concerned. On the other hand, vegetables can be indulged in to any amount

Try to feed your children organic fruits and vegetables as far as possible. If buying conventionally grown stuff, make sure you wash off the pesticides thoroughly. You can't see or smell pesticides and might be driven to think a simple soak is good enough. No, it's not. You need to scrub them thoroughly and rinse well in flowing water, especially if you're making salads. When making salads, 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly
  • Chop, slice, carve into interesting shapes and figures
  • Add salad dressing sparingly
  • Avoid store-bought dressing
  • Mix contrasting coloured vegetables to make it look enticing
  • Give a huge platter of salad pride of place on the dining table
What Parents Can Do

Walk the walk and eat them yourself. Do not put down any fruit or vegetable however much you may dislike them personally. Do not resist buying some vegetable that you may not particularly like. You might be inadvertently denying your child something that could well turn out to be his favourite. 

eating vegetables make kids healthy
Photograph courtesy Anita Patterson-morguefile.com
Get recipe books with enticing pictures in them to get your children interested in the concept of fruits and vegetables. Put your child in charge of maintaining the fruit bowl with clean fresh fruits, noting when something needs to be refilled. 

If your child consistently  rejects certain vegetables, give him a break and gently re-introduce it later on when he's a bit older. Try new recipes. What she doesn't like grilled, she might take in a salad or boiled lightly. Use vegetables in  slowcooker recipes, soups, salads, stir fries, and juices. When using vegetables, 

  • Do not overcook
  • Do not cook in large amounts of water
  • Make your own salad dressing rather than store-bought ones
  • Avoid deep-frying
  • Avoid charring on barbeques
  • Eat raw as much as possible
  • Avoid genetically modified (GM) fruits and vegetables
Veggie Patch For Your Child

Give your child an active role in making grocery lists, shopping, washing fruits and vegetables before eating, salad preparation, and even setting up a vegetable garden. Prepare a small portion of your backyard, freeing it up for a veggie patch. Get a small watering can, gardening gloves, a couple of implements, some organic manure, seeds or seedlings, and you're all set.

Encourage kids to eat vegetables
Photograph courtesy msthurnell-morgefile.com
If space does not permit a whole garden, go for a pot with a tomato plant or a herb garden. Your child gets to see how vegetables come about from tiny flowers to big, fat tomato. Soon you'll have raised yourself a proud little farmer telling you to eat your veggies.



6 comments:

  1. thanks for the interesting and useful facts =)

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  2. Hi Spicewizcaramel, I'm glad you find it useful, Thanks :)

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  3. Hi Liz, Nice one..Like you said,creativity and good presentation plays an important role when it comes to feeding our little ones…For kids it should always look good and tastes different…

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  4. At home you cannot eat junk food in front of your children and expect them to stay away from it …If you enjoy eating veggies and fruits, your children will follow suit.

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  5. Hi Mae, Yup, eating veggies should be fun rather than a battle.

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  6. Hi Anon, That's so true.

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