A vegetarian diet for your kids will help you ensure that they won’t have any nutrient deficiencies. Vegetables are healthy but make sure to also get other nutrients from other food sources to make it a balanced diet. There are some kids that are not into eating vegetables because of its taste and texture but since vegetables are the natural sources of different vitamins and minerals, you have to ensure that your kids will love it.
There are different techniques by which you could introduce them to the wealth of eating vegetables. Vegetables tend to be cost-efficient compared to supplements that are infused with nutrients that are needed in the body. For mothers, feeding their picky kids is quite a challenge because you have to think of ways on how to be creative in doing your plans about introducing vegetables in your kid’s meals.
Kinds of vegetables
- Red vegetables
These kinds of vegetables are boosts with anthocyanin and lycopene that are prone to provide powerful health benefits. It is also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants together with vitamin B6, vitamin E, and folate that allows the body to have higher immunity to diseases and different infections. There are also red vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C such as tomatoes. Some red vegetables include red peppers, red chili, and red cabbage.
- Orange vegetables
Most of the orange vegetables are rich in Vitamin A and loaded with fiber and beta-carotene. These types of vegetables are usually a favorite vegetable by the kids because of its taste and texture. Some popular orange vegetables are carrots, squash and sweet potatoes that are filled with fibers, Vitamin A, and beta-carotene that protects the health of your kids from different kinds of health conditions such as severe health conditions such as cancer, lung illnesses, and heart diseases.
- Yellow Vegetables
Yellow vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, iron, copper, dietary fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. Yellow vegetable includes corn, sweet potatoes, yellow potato, yellow onion, and cauliflower.
- Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are packed with health benefits that are rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber that are low in calories. These vegetables aids in reducing obesity for kids, heart disease, mental illnesses, and high blood pressure. Green vegetables include broccoli, cucumber, green peas, cucumbers, spinach, and green leafy vegetables.
How to encourage your kids to eat vegetables?
Encouraging your kids to eat vegetables is one of your responsibilities as a mother that is to give them nutritious foods that will help them grow healthily. You may have a hard time introducing it to them because of their short attention span but giving them knowledge about the use and effects of vegetables consistently on a daily basis will slowly prompt them to eventually eat vegetables. Here are the other ways on how you can encourage your kids to enjoy while getting the right nutrients.
- Be a role model
Your child looks up to whatever actions you’ll show them. If you want to encourage them to eat healthy foods, they must see that you also eat what you want them to eat.
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- Get your kids involved
You may take your kids in the grocery shopping and let them choose what kind of vegetables they want. You may use the different colors and shapes of vegetables to help them master it.
- Make healthy snacks
The common snacks give to kids are those that do not contain nutritional value. There are vegetables that are still pleasant to the taste buds of your kids. Aside from giving them junk food for snacks, you can prepare baked or mashed potato, carrot strips, vegetable salad, etc.
- Disguise the healthy foods into their favorite meal
It can’t be avoided that your kid doesn’t like the taste of vegetables, if this happens, the best way is to disguise it is to mash or blend it and make it as a dip or toppings of your favorite chicken dish, etc.
- Cook meals at home
If you cook at home, there is a greater chance that your kids will choose to be healthy. Eating in a restaurant doesn’t guarantee that they are serving nutritious and fresh food. You can easily teach your kids to love eating vegetables if you will teach them at home.
Nutrients needed by the kids
Kids are naturally active that is why they need to have sufficient energy to run around. The carbohydrate intake given to kids usually is about 50-60%. It comes from cereals, wheat bread, chocolates, etc.
Protein is needed for the body for the reconstruction of the cells. This is essential for kids because they need this vitamin for growth and development. The kids need up to 20% of protein intake to fill up their daily needed nutrient requirements. Foods that are rich in protein consists of eggs, dairy products, fish, nuts, and meat.
Fat intake is not prohibited to children because, at this age group, the brain needs this fat in building it. The daily needed fat for kids is at least 10%. Foods that are rich in fats are lean meat and beef and saturated fats,
Tips on giving your kids a healthy diet:
- Make sure to give your kids a balanced diet, it is not just sufficient to give them pure vegetables. They also need to have protein, calcium and other nutrients found in meat, dairy, and eggs.
- Be sure to be patient. Not all foods introduced to your kids will be loved. If you constantly expose them in these kinds of foods then for sure, they’ll get used to it as time goes by.
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- Do not cook a separate meal for your kid if he doesn’t like the original meal served because it will promote their “picky” personality and so that they will not be given any choice but to eat healthy foods.
- As your child eats, make sure to limit their distractions such as watching television because some times, the advertisement will encourage your kids to eat unhealthy foods.