Vegetables and fruits are an important source of vitamins and minerals. But they are not very appetising and interesting to many especially children. Most parents have to put in enormous efforts to get the children to eat veggies. They may have to beg, plead and bribe too for the kids to have them. Here are a few ideas to ease the struggle for vegetables:
As a stuffing
Vegetables could be part of stuffing in casseroles. Vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and peppers could be added to chili, lasagna, or spaghetti sauce. When the vegetables are mixed with other ingredients they are much more interesting to eat rather than in plain form. Also, the kids may not realize that their presence.
Many parents try to substitute vitamins tonics for vegetables. These can never take the place of the actual ones. Also, if they are not administered in right quantity they may prove dangerous. Instead the vegetables could be substituted by fruits which have the same nutrients or more. For example, apricots and peaches are rich source of vitamin A than carrots and greens. It may be far easier to get the kids to eat fruits as compared to the vegetables.
Same appearance but different vegetable
Parents could try changing the vegetables in the child’s favourite food and make it fun to eat it. Like, French fries could be made of sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and thereby give more vitamins than calories to the little one.
Vegetables can be pureed and added to food. This way the nutrition is passed on to the food but the kids would not have to bite it nor will they know of its existence in the food. Vegetables like squash, carrots and cauliflowers could be pureed and added to soups.
Grated vegetables to be added to be meatballs, muffins and meatloaf.
Where ever possible parents could make cakes out of vegetables like carrot cake etc.
The important aspect of the whole exercise is to make the vegetables interesting to the child. It can be served in any form and shape for the kids to eat them happily.
All this struggle would be only for a few years, after that the child would realise the importance and need of vegetables and will automatically go for it. Until such time the parents would have to try various techniques to get the child to eat healthy food.