According to the Center for disease control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 17% or 12.5 million children and adolescents are obese. This is a significant concern as childhood obesity can cause an increased risk for health problems such as; heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, joint discomfort and other physical and psychological problems.
A healthy diet is an important part of ensuring a child’s health and to maintain a healthy weight. An important part of a healthy diet is eating adequate amounts of vegetables. It is recommend that children 2-3 year of age have 1 cup of vegetables daily, ages 4-8year should have 1 ½ cups daily, ages 9-13 should have 2 cups daily and 14-18 should have 3 cups daily.
Getting kids to eat vegetable can be challenging research shows that kids can learn to like vegetables. It does require patience from the parents as it can take 5-10 of trying a new food for the child to except it. But it is well worth time as it will benefit the child’s health for years to come
Tips to getting your children to eat more vegetables
- Start early: As the child starts on solid food make sure you provide a wide variety of foods including vegetables.
- Be a good example: If an adult speaks negatively about vegetables or refused to eat them, the child will also
- If vegetables taste bland to you that it will taste bland to your child: While it is recommended to avoid salt, try adding herbs, mild spices to add flavor.
- Choose foods that they can pick up with their hands: don’t be afraid to let them make a mess.
- Limit high sugar foods that provide little nutrition: foods such as, cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, soda, chips
- Reduce the distractions: turn the T.V. off and focus on the food and family
- Don’t give up: Just because they do not like it first time does not mean they will learn to like it.