Veggies, especially green leafy vegetables are an absolute no with the kids. Most of the kids hate eating vegetables and often avoid and munch on various other junk foods. Vegetables are one of the vital foods that must be included in our daily diet as it contains essential nutrients that are important for the child’s health, development and growth.
Generally as parents we must firstly include a variety of colorful and crunchy vegetables and fruits every day in our meal which will make the children naturally follow your footsteps. A simple meal with at least one or two variety of vegetables is preferable in a vegetarian meal rather than making it a lavish meal.
Lavish spread of foods generally confuses most of kids on what to eat, secondly mixing up too many varieties of food items at one meal creates avoidable problems for the digestive system as different kind of digestive secretions are produced by the stomach for variant foods, hence it best to include one or two vegetables that a child likes to eat.
We must know that vegetables are very important protective food and very valuable for prevention of diseases and maintenance of health. They are highly prized for the rich sources of vitamin and mineral contents. They have good amounts of vitamin A, B and C, folate, iron and magnesium.
They are low in saturated and trans fat and high in fiber. There are different kinds of vegetables that we get from the roots food group, stem and leaf and nuts and seeds. Each food group contributes on its own way to our diet. Fleshy roots are high in energy value and good sources of vitamin B group, seeds are relatively high in proteins and carbohydrates while the stems and fruits are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, water and roughage.
Tips in encouraging kids to eat vegetables:
Comparatively vegetables are rich and cheaper source of vitamins. Consumption of these amazing foods naturally provides us with taste, palatability, increased appetite and provides fiber for digestion and prevents constipation. They also play key role in neutralizing the acids produced during digestion of pretentious and fatty. Coming to vegetables there is a wide range of choices one could make to choose from, as all of them have their nutrient benefits.
Some of the most nutritious vegetables are:
Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phyto-chemicals. They are rich in fiber, low in fat and calories, contain a lot of water which helps to keep you hydrated. Most nutritionist state that one should aim to eat at least five servings of vegetables daily which comes to about 2 ½ cups of cooked vegetables.
Few green leafy veggies like collard greens, spinach, parsley, lettuce and swiss chard contain beta-carotene which contribute to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues. These can be best eaten raw in salads, soups and healthy sandwiches.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and also provides vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and dietary fiber. Its low in calories (only 25 per serving), very low in sodium and has no fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. Do include cauliflower regularly in your meals or snacks as it aids in preventing many diseases.
Green, Red & Yellow Peppers: These brightly colored bell peppers or capsicum are rich sources of some of the best nutrients. They are excellent sources of vitamins C and A, beta- carotene and powerful antioxidants. They also contain folic acid and provide fiber which helps lowering high cholesterol levels. They taste great in salads and stir-fries.
Green Peas: Peas are rich in protein, carbohydrate and low in fats. They are best source of fiber, iron as well as vitamins A and C. They are also very rich in Vitamin B1 which is essential for energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism. They are best when eaten raw or lightly steamed. They can also be added to salads, soups, stir-fries, rice preparations etc.
Onions & Garlic: Onion is a useful herb especially protects against stomach and other cancers, diminishes the risk of blood clots, improves lung function especially in asthmatics etc. Garlic contains amino acid and is antibiotic and bactericidal effects. Both these vegetables are most nutritious and can be eaten raw in salads and healthy dips. They also make great flavoring for a wide variety of dishes.
Carrots: Carrots is one of the richest foods in beta-carotene and vitamin A. They are also rich in fiber and low in fat. This vegetables can be eaten raw and helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Eating carrots daily helps keep your skin healthy and improves your eyesight. This naturally sweet, orange colored carrot goes well into salads and snacks.
Apart from the above, there are a variety of vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, brinjal, spinach which are a powerhouse of various nutrients and have amazing nutritional benefits to keep us going fit.
Finally I would like to say that one must try to enjoy every type of vegetable or food. It is often said that every morsel of should be enjoyed to the utmost peaceful state of mind. And by getting your daily quota of five to eight servings, will help build your body’s immunity to fight against diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Make veggies an important part of your diet.
Listed below are some wonderful and lip smacking dishes made with nutrient rich vegetables:
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