Vegetables are a source of much wanted nutrients needed for balanced and healthy development of the child. Proper intake of nutrients not only helps physical development of the child but also that of the brain, resulting in faster learning process. Vegetables are a cheap source of much needed vitamins, minerals and fiber needed for proper digestion. Each and every vegetable is rich in some such nutrients. As such it is very essential that sufficient intake of the vegetables by kids and elders should be ensured.
Most of the children do not like to eat vegetables, instead they prefer meat or fast food. Meat is a good source of protein but vegetables are essential to maintain a balance. If due to taste or other reason it is not possible to eat vegetables these should be added to meat. While cooking meat you can add lots of tomatoes, carrots, ginger and garlic etc. and the children should eat them as main course.
Green salad should be invariably made part of every meal. Green salad consisting of carrot, radish, lettuce leaves, onions and cucumber etc must be consumed in abundance. This is filling, easily digested by the body and helps to reduce intake of starchy material and will provide vital vitamins and fibre to the body. To entice the child to eat fresh vegetable salad, it can be cut into different shapes and the child asked to start with the shape of his choice.
Many tasty dishes can be made with small effort from vegetables. Usage of vegetables can be masked by pureeing them e.g. carrot or cauliflower can be pureed and added to soup or broth. Another trick is to cut the vegetables into very small pieces. This is of twofold benefit. The small pieces mean less cooking time resulting in less loss of nutrients and also they are easier to eat as they are bite sized and go down quickly. In this form they can be used as pizza toppings, in burgers and eaten with dips.
Omelette stuffed with vegetables can be given to child. You can cook rice with layers of different vegetables for the family. On a holiday the whole family can go for an outing where they have to eat only fresh boiled or grilled vegetables. The child should be associated in this process and he will enjoy eating.
On a hot summer day add carrot or any other vegetable puree to fruit juice. Put it in a tall glass, top it with some ice cream and a delicious drink is ready. You could steam peas, spinach, cabbage etc. and put it through the food processor and add it to dough to make pancakes or cookies.