Written by Hunter Kirn, Education & Curriculum Intern
June 17th is National Eat Your Veggies Day! In preparation for this day we will be going over different ways to incorporate vegetables into meals.
Eating Vegetables has a variety of health aspects such as supporting your heart, brain, skin, immune system, and many more. Eating a wide range of vegetables helps keep us healthy. Vegetables provide necessary nutrients and vitamins that can make us feel happy, healthy, and strong.
The recommended daily intake of vegetables suggested by the CDC is the following. Ages 2-3 need to eat 1 cup of vegetables daily. Ages 4-8 years need to eat 1 ½ cups of vegetables daily. Ages 9-13 years need to eat 2 – 2 ½ cups of vegetables daily. Ages 14-18 need to eat 2 ½ – 3 cups of vegetables daily.
Getting Kids to eat more vegetables can be trial and error. It is helpful to involve them in the process, this can look like asking them what vegetables that they want to try that they see in the store, or having them help cook in the kitchen. A Farmers market is also a great place to take children to so they can see the wide variety of vegetables and possibly get to sample some!
Ways to incorporate vegetables into eating habits
Eating raw veggies might not be the most pleasant experience for some kids. Having a snack that has a healthy dip for the vegetables can make eating veggies more enjoyable. Some dips (with recipe) include:
Incorporating veggies into sauces can be an easy way to incorporate vegetables into meals. One easy dish is adding vegetables (carrots, bell peppers and squash to name a few) to pasta sauce. This can be accomplished by blending up chopped veggies and putting them in into a blender along with your favorite pasta sauce and serve how you normally would!
Fun Ways to Celebrate National Eat your Veggies Day!
So what are some fun ways that you and your family can eat veggies for National Eat your veggies day? Activities that are easy to partake in can be visiting a local store, farmers market, or community garden and see what vegetables are in season. Exploring and maybe trying a vegetable you have not tried yet.
The Farmers market can be a great activity to see if you and your family can find vegetables for each color of the rainbow! To take it a step further you can get each vegetable for each color of the rainbow and have a taste test to see which vegetables are the favorite.