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Encouraging Vegetables

If your child is like many preschoolers, he or she probably doesn’t eat enough vegetables each day. Many children this age can be “choosy” eaters. It can take children 10 or more tries before they like a new food. Keep trying. Your efforts will help your child have healthier eating habits later.

Offering Vegetables Can:

  • Help your child get important nutrients like potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  • Provide dietary fiber to help your child feel full. This makes bathroom time easier, too.
  • Add color, crunch, and favor to meals or snacks.
  • Help your child develop healthy eating habits that may reduce the risk of certain diseases, like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, later in life.

Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Vegetables Are All Smart Choices

  • Packages with added sauces or seasonings may have additional fat and calories.
  • Rinse canned beans and vegetables with cold water to reduce sodium.
  • Cut vegetables into smaller pieces to make them easier for your preschooler to eat.

Five Ways To Encourage Vegetables

  1. Eat together. Let your child see you enjoying vegetables at meals and snacks.
  2. Prepare together. Teach your child how to tear lettuce or add vegetable toppings to pizza.
  3. Get colorful. Choose different colors of vegetables to eat.
  4. Make vegetables fun. Read about them in books. Plant a seed and watch it grow.
  5. Share the adventure. Shop for vegetables together. Try a new vegetable each week.