Did you know children ages 2 to 5 need between 1 and 2 cups of vegetables each day? Vegetables are a great snack filled with vitamins and minerals. It is common for young children to dislike or refuse some vegetables. Patience works better than pressure. Offer your children a variety of foods. Then let them choose how much to eat. Here are a few ideas for making vegetables more appealing:
- Be a good role model for children by eating vegetables yourself with meals and as snacks.
- Let your kids be "produce pickers." Let them pick out the vegetables at the store or farmers market.
- Try different forms - vegetables may be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
- Offer choices. Rather than ask, "Do you want broccoli for dinner?" ask "Which would you like for dinner, broccoli or cauliflower?"
- Kids like to taste what they have helped prepare. Depending on their age, children can help clean, peel, or cut up vegetables.
- Children often prefer foods served separately. So, rather than mixed vegetables try serving two vegetables separately.
Vegetables, MyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture
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