August 16, 2022 4 min read

 

Our food has now become increasingly detached from nature. Processed foods with difficult-to-pronounce preservatives and additives dominate supermarket shelves. Dinner consists of cheeseburgers or pizzas when we aren't shopping for groceries.

It's alarming to consider the negative impact this type of diet can have on your kid's health. Metabolic diseases have been on the rise in recent years, which is unsurprising.

Here are the top five reasons why fruits and vegetables should be part of your child's diet:

 

1) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Contain Vitamins and Minerals

 A table with an array of nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables

Credit: Harvard Health

 

Different nutrients and minerals are found in fruits and vegetables, which are beneficial to your health. Among them are vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid, and others. Folic acid may lower homocysteine, a substance that increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

 

2) Your Kid Will Be Exposed to a Wide Range of Flavors and Textures

 A young girl eating a bowl of red strawberries

Credit: Val Thoemer

 

Because of their variety and distinct flavors, plant-based foods allow you to be more creative in the kitchen. There are strong flavors like onions and peppers, as well as milder options like mushrooms. For sweeter options, you have fruits like pineapple, mangos, and watermelon while if you're looking for something acidic, you have fruits like lemons and oranges. Your child will acquire a more diverse palate.

 

3) Protect Their Eyes

 A young child sitting on a couch looking at a mobile phone

Credit: Today’s Parents

 

The majority of children spend their days staring at a computer or phone, which can cause eye strain. Including more veggies and fruits in their diet is the best method to safeguard their eyes (in addition to reducing their screen time). Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that contribute to lowering the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Many vegetables like basil and corn contain them in addition to other vegetables.

 

4) A Growing Body Needs Fruits and Vegetables

 A young child getting his height measurements taken to see how much he has grown

Credit: Chuck Collier Schmidt

 

Fruits and veggies provide so many health benefits. Not only are they essential for the digestive system, but they are also essential for overall health and to develop a growing healthy body. Fruits and vegetables should, in fact, form the backbone of any healthy diet. The majority of parents need to double the number of fruits and vegetables their kids consume on a daily basis.

 

5) They Help in Maintaining a Healthy Weight

 A young person standing on a scale to make sure that they are maintaining a healthy weight

Credit: Nestle

 

If you have a slightly overweight kid, putting them on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a good idea. Fruits and vegetables can help them lose weight because they're low in calories and high in fiber. By getting them to eat half a cup of grapes instead of a fourth of a cup of M&Ms, you can save them from consuming almost 200 calories.

 Why Fruits and Veggies Should Be a Part of Your Child’s Diet Infographic

 

Why Is It That My Child Refuses To Eat Fruits and Vegetables?

 A young girl with her head on the table and some broccoli on her fork which she is refusing to eat

Credit: Your Health

 

Food neophobia, or the dread of unfamiliar or novel foods, is most prevalent between the ages of two and six. Children are also more prone to choose sweet-tasting foods, and some veggies may be unappealing to them. As a result, kids may refuse to consume fruits and vegetables or eat only a restricted selection of them.

Worried and nervous parents may try a variety of methods to urge their child to eat, but this may compound the situation by making mealtimes stressful and unpleasant for both the child and the parents. This problem can be solved by introducing and educating children about fruits and vegetables from an early age.

 

How Can You Include Fruits and Vegetables in Your Kid’s Diet?

 

Here are some pointers to help you increase fruit and vegetable consumption in your kid's diet. Simply select those that you believe will be beneficial to them:

 

1) Add Vegetables to Dishes Your Kid Already Enjoys

 A saucepan of macaroni cheese with some broccoli mixed in

Credit: Immaculate Bites

 

Zucchini pieces, green beans, green peas/snow peas, and brussels sprouts can be layered into a lasagna. Broccoli florets can be added to macaroni and cheese. Make an omelet with tomatoes. Fill a cheese quesadilla with peppers. You get the idea.

 

2) Avoid Treating Them With Candy

 A young girl holding up to heart lollipops by her eyes with her tounge sticking out

Credit: Crystal Karges Nutrition

 

Most parents develop a habit of treating their children with candy in order to convince them to do things like finish their homework, eat the food on their plate or stop them from throwing a fit. Instead of candy, offer kids healthier options like berries, mangos, and other fun fruits.

 

3) Sneak Them Into Pasta

 A big bowl of pasta mixed with a variety of healthy vegetables

Credit: Bettered Blondies

 

Most kids love pasta. Toss spaghetti sauce with finely sliced zucchini, mushroom, onions, eggplant, or yellow squash. The smaller they are chopped, the less likely they are to notice them.

 

4) Have Fun With Them!

 Three celery sticks with some smooth peanut butter on the ends

Credit: Healthline

 

Certain vegetables and fruits are simply more enjoyable to consume than others. Try making corn-on-the-cob wheels (cut cooked corn into 1-inch thick discs), filling celery sticks with peanut butter or light cream cheese, topping apple slices with peanut butter, or stuffing a zucchini or bell pepper.

Some vegetables can also be eaten raw. A fun way to do this is by making cabbage wraps by simply using the cabbage as the wrap and stuffing it with other fun veggies!

 

5) Pizza Oomph

 Four slices of square pizza with lots of healthy vegetables as a topping

Credit: Cooking Light

 

Who doesn't love pizza? Any combination of tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, zucchini, and artichoke hearts can be used to top your pizza. Your kid will devour this in seconds.

 

6) Finally, Fruit Smoothies!

 

Five jars of different flavored smoothies made with vegetables
Credit: A Sweet Pea Chef

 

If you have a blender, all you need is fruit and ice to make a yummy mouth-watering smoothie or fruit juice. And here's a hint: you can put as much fresh spinach as you want in a fruit smoothie. Leafy greens like spinach do not taste like spinach until it has been cooked. Your child won't be able to tell the difference between the two!

 

Summary

 

You should encourage your children to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Your child will have the energy they require to play, concentrate better, study, sleep better, and develop stronger teeth and bones if they eat a healthy diet. Building good eating habits in their early years can help them maintain a nutritious diet for the rest of their lives.

 

Alex Wittle
Alex Wittle



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