If there’s one thing that you should be focusing on as you put together a nutrition program for your active child, it’s making sure that they are getting in all the vegetables they need to with each meal and snack that they consume.
Adding fresh vegetables to every meal can feel like a challenge, especially if you have picky kids who won’t eat up. Fortunately, if you seek out some delicious healthy recipes that incorporate vegetables into the mix, this can be a lot easier.
Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, and will provide the dietary fiber that your kids need. Kids who don’t eat enough vegetables will often fall low in their nutritional requirements, so it’s something that you definitely do want to put effort into having them eat more of.
Let’s give you a few ideas to get you started with adding them to their diet protocol.
To jumpstart their day, you need to make sure that they are eating a good breakfast. A proper breakfast will contain all three macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats. The only time when you may want to decrease the dietary fat content is if you’re serving the breakfast up as a pre-game meal.
In that scenario, lower fat would be more ideal.
Some smart methods to add vegetables to breakfast include making an omelet with diced vegetables, serving them raw on the side with some low-fat dip, or blending them with fruit into a smoothie.
Spinach, kale, celery, and cucumbers all work relatively well in a shake with some fruit, so all of these can serve as a great option here.
Moving on, next you want to consider lunch. Lunch is a great place to get more vegetables in and work better with the typical foods that are served.
Rather than sending your kids off to school with a sandwich, opt for a pita instead. You can stuff more vegetables into the pita, helping them meet their nutritional needs.
Raw veggies and dip work great here with lunch as well, so don’t overlook that option.
Alternatively, sending soup to school in a thermos with added frozen vegetables (added during the cooking process at home) can also be a great way to get more veggies in.
Most kids have the tendency to choose highly processed snack foods to give them sustenance throughout the day, but you really must try and get them out of this habit.
Instead, opt for vegetable-based snacks as well.
Try some celery with peanut butter smeared inside, or send them off with some sliced cucumbers along with low-fat cheese slices.
Remember that you can also use shredded vegetables such as zucchini or carrots in baked goods such as muffins or squares, which can be an excellent way to boost their vegetable intake, and add these to the baked foods will also enhance the moisture in those dishes.
Seek out great healthy recipes that use vegetables rather than oils or other fats for moisture.
Finally, when it comes to dinner, there are plenty of ways to get more vegetables into their diet.
If you’re barbequing, vegetables on the grill, either in a wok, wrapped in foil, or laid out on a skewer form, all taste great and require not much else other than simply placing them on the grill.
Creating a tasty stir-fry for dinner is another idea, and you can serve this over brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
Serving up a side salad with some fruit or dried nuts will instantly add more flavor to the side dish and help them get their vegetables in, or you can opt for steamed vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, corn, peas, or carrots.
Seek out lower calorie ways to add flavor to steamed vegetables, such as using low-sodium spices, herbs or adding a bit of low sodium chicken or beef broth during the cooking process.
So there you have some fast and easy ways to get you and your kids to eat more vegetables.