Parents often struggle with getting their kids to eat vegetables and wonder if fruit is just as good? Fruits contain many of the same vitamins and minerals as vegetables but in different proportions. It’s ideal for kids to get a mix of both. But if fruit is all your child will stomach, it’s certainly a great choice.
Vegetables contain some unique compounds that fight cancer and heart disease, and many of these are not available from fruits. Fruit also tends to be higher in calories than vegetables.
Get Colorful. Be sure to continue to offer a wide range of colorful fruits and veggies -kids taste change and you don’t want to miss out on your child adding a new food to his/her diet.
Experiment. Try adding a vegetable that you do not typically serve, or offer it in a different form, or shape. Spring rolls with lettuce and carrots (not fried) or lightly steamed edamame, (which kids enjoy popping out of the pods) served with soy sauce, are also kid-friendly choices. Sometimes it’s just a matter of texture over taste.
Live a Grocery Adventure. Have your child find a new veggie to try at the grocery store. Check out these fun activities with the Super Crew: All the Colors of the Super Market and our fun grocery store activities, recipes and lesson plan.
Familiarize. Less familiar veggies such as jicama (pronounced Hic-a-ma), celery, or sugar snap peas may spark his/her interest.
Twist it Up. A slight tweak in preparation may change your child’s mind about a certain vegetable:
Fruit for Dinner. Consider adding fresh fruit with dinner if your child repeatedly skips veggies:
All of these tips help create an open environment for trying new foods. Always let the choice of whether to try a food rest with your child. With small children, you can even tell them they have to try one bite, but if they don’t like it, spit it out. Gently let your child know it can take a few times before they like the taste – so be sure they consider trying it again the next time you’re cooking that vegetable or serving that fruit. Think of a food they didn’t like before and enjoy now, and use this as an example.
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