Boost Your Children’s Health With Fruits and Veggies
Author: Shannon Miller
Tired of battling with your child over fruits and vegetables? It’s worth the effort.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables produces significant health benefits. It can help reduce your little one’s risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Unfortunately, kids today only eat half the recommended servings of these health-boosting foods. To encourage your child to eat five daily servings of fruits and veggies (without a fight), try these tips:
Make it easy.
- Prepare fruits and vegetables for on-the-go snacking. Stock the refrigerator with snack-sized baggies of grapes, carrot sticks, and bell-pepper slices. Cut melons into bite-sized pieces and store in small clear containers.
- Sneak fruits and vegetables into foods your kids already eat. Add blended broccoli and cauliflower to pasta sauce. Chop up green peppers, carrots, and celery and mix them with water-packed tuna and fat-free mayonnaise.
- Think beyond the fruits and vegetables you normally serve. Wake up your children’s taste buds by trying new varieties like mangoes or kiwi.
Control the flow.
- As a parent, you are largely in control of what foods come into the house. The next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the fatty processed foods and stock up on healthy produce. Usually, kids eat whatever food is on hand.
- Research shows that children whose families share at least one meal a day together are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.
Enlist their help. Kids are more apt to eat meals they help prepare. Get their input on meal planning and then shop for and cook healthy foods together.
Be a role model.
- You’re not the only one who keeps tabs on what you eat. Your kids also are eyeing your food choices. Set a good example by practicing what you preach.
Courtesy of Baptist Health – Jacksonville, Florida