Tips to help your kids eat more veggies

By Kristi York on November 03, 2014

 

Worried that your kids might not be getting the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by Canada’s Food Guide? Tricia Lee, a registered dietitian in Vancouver (and a mom of three) advises parents to avoid getting bogged down in the daily total, and focus instead on the bigger picture. “Most kids get their overall nutrients over a three-day period,” says Tricia. “Also, the amount needed to make one serving – 3 to 4 tablespoons or the size of a child’s fist – is less than you might think.” She suggests these tips to encourage hesitant veggie eaters:

  • Build on your child’s preferences. If she likes carrot sticks, try introducing foods with a similar crunchy texture, like celery, peppers, or cucumbers.
  • Dip, dip, dip! Use cheese sauce, hummus, ranch dressing, and even ketchup if it will get kids to try a new veggie. 
  • Prepare two vegetables and let your child choose. Try to include a range of colours (green, orange, yellow, and red) to provide a variety of nutrients.
  • Keep meal portions small. When your child asks for more of the main dish, you can say, “Yes, after you eat your vegetables.”
  • Create age-appropriate servings – literally. The concept of “you're three, so you need to eat three pieces” feels reasonable to kids and parents alike.

 

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2014.


By Kristi York| November 03, 2014

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