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Ask the Expert Archive

Can I count dried vegetable powders as a serving of vegetables if I add the rehydrated equivalent of 1/2 raw? I’d like to add these powders to my kids favorite meals (e.g. spaghetti).

We do not count dried vegetable powders as a serving of vegetables, due to the fact that there is no way to evaluate the nutritional content of the serving of powder to see if it’s equivalent to a vegetable. While it can be difficult as a parent to try to incorporate adequate servings of fruits and vegetables into a child’s diet, “sneaking” vegetables into their meals provides parents with the assurance that their child is getting the nutritional benefits that he/she needs. It is still important to serve vegetables to your children so that they can taste them and get into the habit of including them at meals. Research has shown that children may need to try a food over a dozen times in order to develop a taste for the item; therefore, it is still important that your child receives exposure to fruits and vegetables so that he/she can learn to like them. Try “taste tests” with your child to see which cooking methods or recipes he/she prefers best. 
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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