One of the key elements for children to be healthy and grow strong is to follow a well-balanced diet. Their nutrition should consist of a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains and dairy products as they contain essential nutrients necessary for proper development.
A food group many toddlers are being picky about is vegetables. This is mainly because they don’t like eating anything that has a weird color, smell, shape or texture. So, getting them to eat a veggie to receive the right amount of nutrients daily poses a real challenge for parents with fussy eaters.
Fortunately, there are several vegetables kids like eating and you can easily include them as part of their daily regimen. You can prepare them in different ways in order to make nutritious snacks or tasty side dishes for your little one.
Keep reading to find out which vegetables are kid-approved.
Carrots have a crunchy texture and are naturally sweet, so there is no doubt that this vegetable is a favorite for kids of all ages. They are high in fiber and offer plenty of health benefits due to the presence of numerous antioxidants and vitamins such as beta-carotene and vitamin A.
Depending on your child’s preferences, you can serve carrots raw with yogurt as a snack or roast them and serve them as a side dish.
Zucchini is another type of vegetable you should include in your child’s diet. It is rich in many vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds that are beneficial for the overall health of your child.
For example, the potassium present in this veggie helps improve muscle activity which is especially important for growing toddlers.
Children like zucchini the most when they are in the form of tater tots, but you can also serve them as ribbon pasta to make them more appealing to picky eaters.
A colorful vegetable that is also a kid’s favorite are bell peppers. This veggie comes in many colors and each type provides numerous nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are crucial for staying healthy.
Most children like eating bell peppers as a snack, raw, sliced and served with a topping such as cheese. However, you can also stuff them with eggs and tomatoes to make a healthy lunch meal.
Another bright-colored vegetable you should also include in your child’s diet is corn. It has a pleasant and sweet flavor and it is high in fiber that helps with digestion and developmental health in toddlers.
You can serve it grilled as a healthy snack for your kid, or add loose kernels into a salad to make a delicious veggie mixture.
You can also serve it as a dessert by mixing it with coconut sugar and cinnamon.
Spinach is a leafy vegetable that is extremely nutritious as it contains essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K and iron. These nutrients help improve eye health, promote proper development and strengthen the immune system of your child.
Unfortunately, many kids aren’t big fans of spinach so they usually push it aside. However, you can easily hide it in foods by adding it into omelets and smoothies to create tasty meals.
Broccoli is another super green vegetable that is packed with fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals essential for your child’s overall wellbeing. Because its strong taste is often off-putting to kids, you can incorporate it into salads and sauces and use it as a side dish for lunch.
If you are looking for something more playful, you can add broccoli to a pizza with other healthy vegetables that your kids like the most.
A vegetable which is every kid’s favorite especially during summer season is cucumber. It is highly rich in vitamins and antioxidants that boost the immune system and has high water content. That’s why it is often considered the best veggie to fight dehydration in toddlers.
If your child enjoys it, let them munch on a raw cucumber as a snack which you can pair with the topping of their choice and a slice of low-fat cheese.
Part of the same family as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is considered the most pleasant-tasting member of all varieties of cabbage among children. It is packed with essential nutrients and vitamins that promote bone development, immunity and digestion.
The best thing about it is that it can be prepared in several ways. Some of the kids’ most favorite ones are as a side dish alongside a roast or with macaroni and cheese.
Serving vegetables in a playful way
Vegetables come in many colors, shapes and textures which is why children are often being picky about eating them. Therefore, if you are struggling with a fussy toddler, then you should serve their veggies in a playful way so they will seem more appealing to your kid.
For example, vegetables like cucumber, carrots and zucchini can be chopped in numerous creative ways using special food cutting devices that will cut the veggies into different shapes. This can come especially in handy for young children who are learning about different forms so the food will seem more interesting to them.
Another fun way to serve your kid vegetables is in salads. When making a veggie mixture, you can include a variety of all colors and add seeds and toppings to make a highly nutritious meal that also looks like a rainbow.
The importance of adding vegetables to your child’s diet shouldn’t be overlooked. This food group is high in fiber and rich in plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help improve your kid’s health in many ways. Depending on your toddler’s preferences, you can add veggies to smoothies and side dishes and make highly nutritious and delicious meals.
In case you aren’t sure which types of vegetables kids like the most, be sure to refer back to our guide and incorporate some of these veggies into their daily regimen.