The nutritional wonders of fresh vegetables deserve to be applauded!
Fresh veggies are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. The fiber content alone also does wonders for helping to prevent constipation issues, which is a common complaint in the pediatric world.
Children are among the pickiest of eaters, so it’s often challenging to ensure they’re eating enough fiber to avoid dietary problems. Try these tips to introduce more fresh vegetables, more often:
- Make a container of snackable veggies. Embrace the benefits of a prep day! Peel carrots, slice peppers, clean cucumbers, etc. Store them all in a snacking container together. It’s easy to pull out for an after-school snack or pre-dinner appetizer to nourish appetites between meals.
- Choose vegetables first when meal planning. This might feel foreign initially, but it makes incorporating veggies a priority. Soon, it will become second nature to help your family eat a more balanced diet, rich in produce. Even if there’s just one vegetable on your plate at every meal, it’s enough to inspire consistent healthy habits and smart choices.
- Save time! Buy pre-prepped veggies. When time is a factor, make it easier on yourself. There are many items you can get pre-prepped at most grocery stores. Look for chopped celery or onion, spiralized zucchini or beets, diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash, and bagged broccoli and cauliflower florets. Worth noting, while these items do save you time, they also cost a bit more.
- Try a “new to you” vegetable. Break out of your comfort zone and try something out of the ordinary! The top 10 favorite veggies according to kids are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Romaine lettuce
- Grape tomatoes
- Butternut squash
- Start your day with vegetables. Try these breakfast ideas:
- Add vegetables to an omelet.
- Make a frittata to use up an excess of veggies in your fridge.
- Make a hash with potatoes and bell peppers, kale, or squash.
- Transform your toast. Try topping it with asparagus, tomatoes, or peppers.
- Roast chicken or turkey sausage with fresh sweet potatoes and carrots.
- Add vegetables to your egg scramble. Broccoli and tomatoes pair nicely together.
- Make a stuffed sweet potato using eggs and anything else you love.
- Try a breakfast pizza. Go with peppers, onion, and tomato—or eggs and spinach.
- Sip on a veggie-packed smoothie. Add two large handfuls of spinach to your smoothies. It blends up so nicely, you can’t even taste it! Or try adding a chopped carrot which is naturally sweet. When paired with cinnamon, nutmeg, and dates it creates a carrot cake-type flavor!
Feeling inspired? Try even more ideas by visiting the Fresh Veggies Day website.