There are many reasons why children and even adults are not particularly fond of eating vegetables. But we all know that they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals which serve as antioxidants and help in body building and growth. Find out how you can be creative in getting your family to eat more veggies and enjoy a healthier diet.
School age children should get 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. To achieve these, serve their veggies in a variety of ways. A serving might be one cup of raw leafy vegetables, 3/4 cup of vegetable juice, or 1/2 cup of other vegetables, raw or cooked. How can these guidelines be accomplished?
Reasons Why People Hate Vegetables
Many children and even adults avoid eating vegetables – they pick on their food, remove them from perfectly prepared sandwiches or completely avoid getting them into their plates. Some people even hate having anything green, red or yellow that looks like a part of a plant in their food!
The inherent bitterness of some vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, also referred to as cruciferous vegetables can turn off the appetite of a picky eater. Some people have extra-sensitive receptors for bitter tastes and this occurs in around 25% of the population. Some people also have unpleasant memories of being forced to eat vegetables in their childhood and associate these thoughts with the taste of veggies even when they are grown up.
Creative Ways to Include Veggies in the Diet
Maybe the most important way to encourage the rest of the family to eat vegetables is to be a good example of a veggie eater. Parents who buy, prepare and eat vegetables as a daily part of meals are more likely to succeed in showing their kids how these foods are essential to a healthy diet. So make sure kids see you eating your veggies like you’re enjoying them! If that doesn’t work, here are some ways you can creatively get your family to eat their daily source of fiber and nutrients from vegetables:
- Large chunks of vegetables in sandwiches, salads and other side dishes can easily scare the kids. Try chopping carrots, zucchini or spinach and incorporate them in soups, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, omelets, pastries and other favorite foods where they can hardly be detected.
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