Last week the CDC reported that 9 in 10 kids, 2 to 18 years old, don’t eat enough vegetables. And, many of the veggies they do eat are fried, white potatoes.
It is so important for growing bodies to get the essential nutrients they need and even more important in an individual with a bleeding disorder. Developing strong bones and muscles can help reduce the number of bleeds an individual experiences and being at a healthy weight will help to reduce the amount of stress on joints.
By adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet you will not only ensure they are getting the many nutrients they need, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C . But they are also reducing their risk of many conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, obesity and bone loss.
Here are some tips to help add vegetables into your family’s diet:
- Let children decide on the dinner vegetables or what goes into salads.
- Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes. Buy packages of veggies such as baby carrots or celery sticks for quick snacks.
- Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
- Use pureed, cooked vegetables such as potatoes to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture
- Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator. Carrot and celery sticks are traditional, but consider red or green pepper strips, broccoli florets, or cucumber slices.
- Children often prefer foods served separately. So, rather than mixed vegetables try serving two vegetables separately.
- Allow children to pick a new vegetable to try while shopping.
Having a variety of vegetables and fruit on hand and offering your child a choice will help teach them good eating habits and gives some individuality and ownership to what they choose to eat. Remember to be a good role model and choose to eat healthy too. Stay healthy and strong together.