Don’t Forget the Vegetables

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national vegetable dayDinnertime is definitely one of the busiest hours in our home. I used to ask my oldest daughter what she wanted for dinner. However, that came with too many requests. And it never included any vegetables or fruit, ever!

This month we will celebrate “National Eat Your Vegetables Day,” which falls on June 17. Celebrating will include both of my daughters trying a new vegetable that they have never tried.

Explore the Produce Section 

I often zip through the produce section of the supermarket. I make quick stops at the lettuce, tomatoes, celery, and avocados. My goal is to find fresh and ripe produce. But when I have more time, I go up and down and explore more options that I am happy to eat. I am always amazed by the colorful vegetables I can find at various supermarkets across our town.

Exploring other options such as squash or trying a red or yellow pepper will also allow me to rotate more dinner options for my family. Recently, I tried Cassava which is a root vegetable and had a bit of a nutty taste. 

Vegetables and fruits are such an essential part of a healthy plate. There needs to be the right balance of the food groups, and we can’t forget the veggies!

My children eat one vegetable with their lunch and one with dinner. A favorite request for my daughter is cooked or raw carrots. Thankfully, she does not like anything such as butter or seasoning on them. She can get the full nutrients of the carrots.

My girls did not have an interest in vegetables when they were young (under 5). Maybe it was tied to the common saying, “Don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies so you can grow to be big and strong.”

“It is recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. However, this recommendation may vary depending on age and gender.” – Author unknown.

Creating Options

Some easy ways to incorporate more veggies into your child’s and your daily food routine.

Breakfast: Make a smoothie! You can really add an array of veggies, fruit, and/or protein. You can also add spinach or tomatoes if they like to eat scrambled eggs. 

Snacks: This may be tough at times, but try swapping out the sweets, veggie chips, or even cutting up celery and cucumbers and having something like hummus or peanut butter that you can dip in.

Dinner: Mix a veggie in with rice or pasta. They will still be able to see it, but it may taste a bit more enjoyable. I have found another great option to squeeze a vegetable, even as simple as a little onion or a sliced tomato, into their grilled cheese or tuna sandwiches. 

Your options are endless. I feel it is a constant trial and error with what works in my home. I try to expose my children to new foods. While I mention my children and have a more colorful plate, it is also important as adults to remember our vegetables. There is an abundance of nutrients and vitamins our bodies need. 

Remember, it’s okay to be creative and have fun with it. It is so great how veggies and fruits really give us so many essential vitamins that help fuel our bodies each day!

What are some of your favorite vegetables, and do you have any “eat your veggie” tips to share?

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