Fruits and Vegetables
You should be eating at least 3 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables are very low in saturated fat and total fat, and have no cholesterol. A diet high in fruit and vegetables may also help keep cholesterol levels low. So, fruits and vegetables are great substitutes for foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Buy fruits and vegetables to eat as snacks, desserts, salads, side dishes, and main dishes
- Add a variety of vegetables to meat stews or casseroles or make a vegetarian (meatless) main dish.
- Wash and cut up raw vegetables (carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.) and store in the refrigerator for quick and easy use in cooking or snacking.
- Serve fresh fruit for dessert or freeze (banana, berries, melon, grapes) for a delicious frozen treat.
- Display fresh fruit in a bowl in the kitchen to make fruit easier to grab as a snack.
- To keep naturally lowfat vegetables low in fat and saturated fat, season with herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar, fat free or lowfat mayonnaise or salad dressing.
How to Encourage a Child to eat Vegetables
If you have a child at home that does not like to eat vegetables, these strategies can be helpful:
- Lead by example:
- Children often model their behavior after their parents or caregivers, so it’s important to make sure that you are eating vegetables yourself.
- Make vegetables fun:
- Cut vegetables into fun shapes or serve them with a dip that the child enjoys.
- Introduce new vegetables gradually:
- Start with a vegetable that the child is already familiar with, and then gradually introduce new vegetables over time.
- Encourage participation in meal preparation:
- Involve the child in the process of preparing and cooking vegetables. This can make them more interested in trying them.
- Be patient:
- Some children may need more time than others to develop a taste for vegetables. Be patient and keep offering them.
- Keep it simple:
- Offer a variety of raw or steamed vegetables and avoid seasoning them heavily.
- Reward for trying:
- Positive reinforcement can be helpful in encouraging children to try new foods.
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