Dr. Ann shares with you what's at stake--and what's not--with vegetables and your kids
As parents one of our biggest nutritional challenges is getting our kids to eat there veggies. I know because I have four kids so I’m going to share with you some strategies that have really work for me and hopes that it will make it easier for you to bring more the wonder of veggies into your kids lives. The first thing is go stuffs, things sneaky is completely fair game when it comes to trying to improve the nutritional health of your children so here is some things for stealth, shred veggies or you know what you can already buy them shred and the things like carrots, sukini, cabbage, broccoli and add them to things that you know your kids love like meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, lasagna and bake goods like muffins. Another great stealth strategy is get can pumpkin is absolutely exploding with vitamin A and caratinoids and you can add it to things like soups, bake goods, pancakes I always add can pumpkin to my cornbread, my corn bread. Another great thing you can do as far as going stealth is add finally shredded dark leafy greens, and a dark leafy greens are natures multi vitamin they have more nutrients than any other food so you can take things like kale and spinach that you probably— otherwise never be able to get it into your kids chop them really finely and you can add that things like soups and stews they’ll never know. And another one of my favorite going stealth is to make healthy mash potatoes out of cauliflower, we call this Mac mash potatoes that’s lot of really cool delicious that is available online and give that a try and my kids love it. The second thing is go kid friendly, know that kids love finger foods, they love finger that they can pick up with there fingers right so think about the vegetables that fit them well, its fingers foods like. What I am talking about, things like carrots and celeries sticks and red bell pepper strips right? Cherry and tomatoes and they really love dipping right. So give those little finger food veggies and there favorite dips you can do that and that’s fantastic. Another fantastic great strategy right, is to exploit the power of hunger, you know kids are going to be much more up to eat there vegetables if they’re really hungry. So what I do in my house is prior to dinner when I know my kids really are, oh I’m hungry. I put up a platter of a sort of an appetizer of colorful veggies right, color actually insights eating behavior and sort of variety. Great strategy so when they’re hungry one at make up you know put some carrots some cucumber strips, red bell pepper strips, yellow bell paper strips and serve it pair with a little healthy dip again low fat dressing and have them do that as a pre-meal appetizer. Another important strategy that is very, very helpful is to involve your child in the selection and preparation of vegetable dishes. Studies tell us that the more kids can experience food with your own senses, touching them, smelling them, manipulating them and engaging with them the more up they are to eat them or to try them okay. Another sort of no brainer strategy is to exploit your child’s sweet tooth. We all know the kids have a sweet tooth, no question about it. Use that to your advantage and the logic here is you know there are certain vegetables that have a pretty high sugar content and those maybe the ones that sort of your kids more naturally gravitate too and the big ones that come to our mind or things like baby peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, red and yellow bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes and of course sugar snap peas right? Alright, so listen parents remember, remember one of the most fundamental responsibilities you have as a parent is ensuring that your child gets proper nourishment and the three things that influence eating behavior in your kids— parents, peers and media by four you as the parent have the most power. For ICU this is Dr. Ann.