Most Americans don’t get enough veggies in their diet. It’s not difficult. However, busy lives and unhealthy habits can make it tough. Not to mention the fact that many people just don’t like vegetables. Or at least they don’t think they do. Here are some simple tips to get more vegetables in your family’s diet.
#1 Make them available between meals. Many moms have found that simply creating a veggie and dip tray and setting it out results in a delightful surprise. Kids swarm the table. They gobble up the vegetables and mom is happy. What causes this phenomenon when kids won’t eat vegetables at meal time? There are two theories:
You can really amplify the nutritional value and offer a flavorful pureed vegetable or bean dip as a dip. Good old-fashioned ranch dressing is an option too.
Here are two dips to try:
The second theory is that if mom and dad aren’t forcing the kids to eat the vegetables, as they might at mealtime, then the veggies are more appealing. If it’s offered as a snack without any expectations then kids dive right in.
#2 Remember that it takes time to like a food. Experts tell us that it takes three to seven tastes for a person to decide if they like a food. That means you have to serve Brussels sprouts to your kids seven times and let them taste the veggies before they decide. Often a no-pressure attitude works best. Simply ask your kid to try the new veggie. They don’t have to eat a full serving. When kids are allowed to develop their own taste, they’re more likely to like a vegetable than if they’re forced to eat them.
Marinated Grilled Vegetables
#3 Make it tasty. Let’s face it - some vegetables don’t taste very good. However, there are things you can do to make them tasty. For example, you may not like green beans steamed, but if they’re sautéed with a few almonds they taste amazing. When it comes to eating vegetables, don’t be afraid to doctor them a bit. Use spices, marinades and herbs. Use a bit of healthy fat like olive oil to add flavor. Add nuts. Add cheese sauces sometimes too. And offer dips and dressings when the vegetables are raw or in salad form.
Getting your family to eat more veggies may take some advanced planning. Make sure they’re offered several times a day and in several forms. Give your child, and yourself, time to decide if you like a vegetable. Go ahead and be sneaky with the veggies sometimes too. When it comes to your family’s health, vegetables matter.