It’s not uncommon for picky eaters refuse to eat most vegetables. Often when parents claim they have a picky eater, what they are saying is that their child won’t eat vegetables. Teaching children how to enjoy veggies is vital for good health. Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater is about transformation. It’s possible to change food preferences.
Even if you don’t have a picky eater, kids don’t get the recommended five fruit and veggies a day. The average number of veggies a child eats each day is one, while 33 percent of kids don’t eat any. You know what kids are eating…junk foods. That’s usually simple carbohydrates, quickly filling up a tiny tummy with little or no health benefits.
Kids’ taste buds have become accustom to sugary and salty foods. Junk foods include most fast foods like hot dogs, pizza, French fries and fried chicken, soda, boxed macaroni and cheese. The snacks we regularly offer our kids such as chips, cookies, and crackers are also lacking in the nutrition department.
Kaylee is shocked that her favorite rainbow foods are good for you, too.
When beginning the Baby Bite steps, you’ll want to eliminate junk foods. In just a short time, your child will begin to appreciate new tastes. The focus should then shift to nutrient-dense foods. These are whole foods packing a lot of nutrition into a few bites. Each calorie in a nutrient-dense food is packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential amino and fatty acids.
When you’re incorporating new vegetables into your child’s diet, which ones are most healthful? A quick rule of thumb for the most beneficial vegetables and fruit is the produce with the deeper colors. Phytonutrients are contained in the plants pigment. They are the vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflovens, phytoestrogens, and pholyphenols found in food. Phytonutrients protect the body and fight disease, they promote health!
Organic vegetables and fruit have not been sprayed with pesticides, other chemical sprays, or contaminated in other ways, such as from the water, soil, or industrial treatments. In order for the plant to naturally survive, it must fight off insects and other invaders with its own resources. To do this it produces more phytonutrients, making the plant (and you) stronger. Organic fruit and vegetables have been found to have more antioxidants, vitamin C, and trace elements.
Go for the Rainbow
When you “eat your colors” you will be packing more nutrition into each bite.
Red—Tomatoes, radishes, red peppers, cherries, strawberries, watermelon and pink grapefruit. The color red indicates it contains powerful antioxidants such as lycopene, plus beta-carotene.
Orange and Yellow—Sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkins and other squash, carrots, apricots and peaches, and yellow peppers. Orange and deep yellow carotenoids protect plants from sun damage. Carotenoids, which turn into vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Green—Kale, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, avocado, bell peppers, zucchini, and romaine lettuce. Green foods are plentiful in fiber and minerals including calcium. They are in high antioxidants, thanks to abundant chlorophyll. They are especially rich in phytonutrients.
Blue/Violet/Purple—Blueberries, blackberries, beets, plums, purple cabbage, eggplants, and grapes indicate fiber and anticancer qualities, thanks to the pigment anthocyanin. Grapes contain bioflavonoids or betalains powerful antioxidants. Beets and prickly pear contain the pigment betacyanin a powerhouse nutrient.