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What do you feel about “sneaking” pureed veg into kids meals- is it as nutritious and how can we teach them how important fruits and veg are

“Sneaking” vegetables and fruits into kids’ foods is a way for parents to feel comfortable that their kids are getting the good nutrition from fruits and veggies, especially if they are picky eaters. It is also a good way to add extra nutrition to meals by including “MORE” and to help adults meet recommendations for fruits and vegetables. However, it is still important to include fruits and veggies in meals regularly so that it becomes a habit for kids to include them at their meals. Getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables can sometimes be a challenge. To begin, try to make the experience of trying a fruit or vegetable positive and fun. If a child senses any excess anxiety on your part, s/he may dig his heels in. Start with a small bite on the plate with a favorite food, and encourage taking a taste Set a good example – if your kids see that the rest of the family (especially parents) are eating vegetables, they may be more likely to eat them as well. Take them along on your next trip to the grocery store and have them pick one vegetable they would like to try. Involving them in the preparation of vegetables also may get them interested. It could be as simple as washing or chopping something or as complex as trying a new recipe. Also, don’t forget that sometimes it takes 5-10 trials before your child learns to like something… encourage them to continually taste things because "taste buds have matured" and now they might like them. See what other mothers have said about their similar challenges in our Mom2Mom section.

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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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