There are many healthy ways to prepare fruits and vegetables for your 15 month old son. At this age, your job as a parent is to keep introducing new flavors and textures. Food preferences are set early in life, so help your child develop a taste for healthy foods now. Some parents are concerned about the effects of cooking (especially boiling) fruits and vegetables on the nutrient quality. This is true that some of the nutrients and phytochemicals are destroyed when they are exposed to high heat. However, some nutrients actually are more readily absorbed by the body after being cooked. For example, lycopene, which exists in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, is actually absorbed better after the fruit or vegetable has been cooked. Our focus is to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables—in all forms. The most important thing is for people to enjoy fruits and vegetables anyway that they like to eat them. Making sure you are eating your recommended fruit and vegetable intake—no matter what form—is the most important thing! Try our kid-friendly recipes.
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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.Read Her Full Bio