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

More Stone Soup

How to Fight Obesity on Multiple Levels

How to Fight Obesity on Multiple Levels

No matter what we will try from here on in terms of legislation and policy making, changing individual behavior will always play a predominant role. Eating habits are rarely just about food. They are also about stress, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, addiction, past traumatic experiences and more. By exclusively focusing on the quality and quantity of our food supply, we will not be able to really understand these concerns and make them part of the equation, as they need to be.
5 Holiday Traditions to Start in the Kitchen

5 Holiday Traditions to Start in the Kitchen

These ideas build the excitement and anticipation of the holidays while also helping families spend quality time together and make lasting memories.
The Case of the Picky Eater: Gastroparesis

The Case of the Picky Eater: Gastroparesis

A child’s response to selected foods or his behavior at meal time may indicate something else is going on internally.
A Tale of Two Nut Butters

A Tale of Two Nut Butters

Here's a little dietitian confession I'm going to share with y'all. Sometimes, when I'm in a rush, and I don't have time for a proper meal, I dip down in to whatever jar of nut butter I have on hand—usually peanut or almond—swirl a scoop on my spoon, and slowly lick off the creamy, dreamy deliciousness that I know will keep me going until I can sit down to enjoy a proper meal.
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.

Archives

Recent Posts

Categories

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Stone Soup in Your Email