Published:

3 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Vegetables



Article author photo. Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDNThis featured post is by Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN. You can follow this blogger @NataliaStasenko.

Many parents of young children struggle to get them to eat vegetables. Their little ones may be going through an age-appropriate picky eating stage or a food jag; they may be very cautious eaters overall; or may belong to the club of super tasters. Whatever the reason for their declining interest in vegetables, your most helpful strategy is to remain as neutral as possible and take the pressure off of mealtimes.

Here are three facts about serving vegetables that parents should keep in mind if they plan to help children learn to enjoy them:

Consistency is the Key to Success


When vegetables make an appearance only at dinner table, kids are less likely to eat them.
Solution: Make vegetables a part of every meal or snack.  If veggies come back in the lunch box untouched, keep packing them but make sure it is a really small serving. This way you can reduce both waste and level of frustration.

Hiding Spinach in Brownies is Not Helpful in the Long-Term


Many parents I know have resorted to this technique as a temporary strategy to boost their child’s nutrition. But somehow, most of them still cannot find their way out from spending hours in the kitchen while dealing with a child who eats fewer and fewer vegetables.

Solution: Feel free to fortify meals with pureed and shredded vegetables, but make sure to always also serve vegetables in their natural form alongside the meal. If children like the new recipe of cauliflower mac-and-cheese, use this opportunity to “disclose” the ingredients and invite them into the kitchen next time to help with preparation.

Taste Matters


Many children are very sensitive to the bitter compounds found in some vegetables and may reject them for this reason.

Solution: Mask the challenging taste with additional flavorings, such as fat, salt and sugar. The nutrition children get from vegetables is worth the splurge! Add some oil and a sprinkle of salt or parmesan cheese to the broccoli, serve a flavorful dip with raw cucumbers and peppers, or roast carrots with a splash of honey to highlight their natural sweetness.

Tell me, did your child go through the “I hate veggies" phase? What approach did you use to handle it?

Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian in a private practice in New York City and blogger. Read her recipes and advice on weight management, prenatal and pediatric nutrition at TribecaNutrition.com/blogspot, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Read More Stone Soup

Something's Cooking at Your Local Carniceria

Something's Cooking at Your Local Carniceria

If you've ever eaten marinated grilled meat (carne asada) from a carniceria, you know there is a bit of magic that goes into the preparation. My favorite is the thin-cut skirt steak (ranchera). The signature flavor comes from the bath of juices and spices in which meat soaks in for a minimum of three hours; but the longer it marinates, the better it tastes.
Celebrating Whole Grains Month

Celebrating Whole Grains Month

While it’s true that highly refined carbohydrates may be increasing our risk of diseases, intake of whole grains actually leads to health promotion, such as weight loss, lower risk of heart disease and longevity.
The Flavors of Summer

The Flavors of Summer

Summer is here and everyone is looking for lighter recipes as the heat and humidity rises. Last night was a beautiful summer evening and the perfect time to try my new Walnut and Flax Crusted Salmon recipe with Lime-Infused Millet.
Break the Chain: Food Choices and Sleepless Nights

Break the Chain: Food Choices and Sleepless Nights

If you are stressed you don’t sleep and when you are tired you don’t always make good food choices. Where do those bad food choices lead you? You got it, back to the stress and sleep issues.
Advertise with Food & Nutrition



Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share
with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content below — including information, artwork, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Write for Us

Are you interested in writing a guest blog for Stone Soup? To be considered, contact us at StoneSoup@eatright.org.

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Stone Soup in Your Email