Ensuring that you and your children get the right nutrition can be a job in itself in this hectic, fast-paced world. However, supplying good nutrition to your family is more than important – it is vital. So how might you boost your family’s nutrition levels? One easy and fun option is to simply try a new vegetable every week. This also helps to broaden your own and your children’s palate. We all know the picky kid at school who will only eat fries and ketchup. That child is likely to grow up with a whole host of health issues. By letting your children know that other vegetables exist besides the childhood ‘staples’ of peas, carrots and potatoes, you’ll pave the way for them to become more adventurous in their diets, which will do great things for them nutritionally as they grow up.
There are numerous vegetables out there that taste great, but you might not have tried them simply because you don’t eat them regularly. For instance, fresh green beans and fresh ears of corn are very cheap during the summertime. You can add beans and fresh corn to your meals in many different ways, such as through green bean salads, casserole and more. You can also increase nutrition with yellow squash – steamed squash can be delightful, and it is good added to salads raw.
Another nutritional boost can be found by adding broccoli to your meals. Broccoli is a great kids treat when served in bite-sized cooked chunks with melted cheese on top, but it is also very good steamed, or served raw with a splash of your favorite salad dressing. Just be sure to check your teeth after eating it! You can also add it to your salads as well and you don’t even need to cook it. If you prefer something more exotic, try adding a bit of asparagus to your nutrition plan, or include fresh sugar-snap peas in a favorite recipe for a burst of sweetness.
If you child loves finger-food, try chopping up some brightly colored red, green and yellow peppers (make sure you get Bell Peppers, not the hot kind!). Slice in half, discard the seeds and the white core, then rinse and slice length-ways. The taste is fresh and sweet with a great crunch – if your child already likes munching on raw carrots they’ll love raw bell peppers. The red ones are the sweetest, followed by the yellow and orange. Green pepper are the least sweet, and are more suited to cooking or salads.
Adding a vegetable per week to your meal plans can help you branch out, increase your nutrition and become more familiar with some of the great tasting options open to you throughout the year.