How to get your kids to eat veggies

How to get your kids to eat veggies

Nutritional concerns in Louisiana continue to be studied, researched and surveyed through a variety of reputable resources. This state has festivals and cultural activities that offer many foods that can be very unhealthy for both parent and child. In 2015, Louisiana was ranked 1st in adult obesity and our kids lead with childhood obesity numbers as well. Today, 2018, we rank 6th and we are making progress with reducing the numbers in childhood obesity.

Parents must model the appropriate eating behaviors to indicate what foods are nutritious and healthy for themselves and especially their children. They can learn the MyPlate five food groups and share that information with their children. Knowing that fruits and vegetables are essential to their growth and development and the prevention of many illnesses and diseases. Vegetables are very important and beneficial to the body’s development. Veggies may not always taste good and are not as tasty as fruits, so parents must try different ways to introduce veggies to kids. Parents can give them choices of different vegetables, and make the food colorful.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Carrots, they are rich in beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, and good also for weaning babies
  • Sweet potato – two varieties, orange- fleshed and creamy- fleshed, sources of potassium and vitamin C they help prevent certain types of cancers
  • Butternut squash, again source of beta-carotene
  • Parsnip, a source of starch and fiber, antioxidant vitamin C and E
  • Zucchini, again a source of beta-carotene
  • Broccoli which is a true superfood, containing vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, iron, potassium.

Some of these vegetables are sweet and tasty for toddlers and younger children.

Parents must be aware that nutrition for kids is based on the same principles as nutrition for adults. Parents and children need essential nutrition which are vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans give specifics on boys and girls nutrient needs. Calories intake is different depending on the age and sex of children.Parents can teach what food is appropriate and healthy for eating. If parents live in food insecure areas, or food desserts, they must familiarize the children with neighborhood farmer markets, and they may even want to learn to grow veggie and fruits in their back yards. Healthy foods such as vegetables must be available in order for the kids to eat healthy. Parents can let the kids be part of the shopping, or growing as well as preparing process. Louisiana’s children health will depend on informed and knowledgeable parents, and a community that is committed to living heathier and longer to continue the lasting traditions and festivals that make this state so unique.

10/8/2018 7:12:58 PM
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