Some chefs in the nation's capital are tweaking their normally meat-heavy menus to offer flavorful dishes of fresh, seasonal vegetables to woo not only the vegetarian crowd, but omnivore diners searching for healthier options. "It's really important to use healthy fats and high-quality oils, vinegars and herbs for seasoning," said Ethan McKee of Urbana in Washington, D.C. "It's also especially important to cook with the seasons for vegetarian dishes because you're locking in produce at its peak freshness and flavor. Finally, when you add in legumes and grains like quinoa or farro, you can create a very interesting, satisfying dish."
Parents should set a good example and keep portions small to entice preschool children to eat more fruits and vegetables, registered dietitian Aimee Zipkin writes. She tells parents to buy colorful fruits and veggies, to use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, to offer different types as snacks, and to add fruits and veggies to prepared dishes.
The traditional green-bean casserole often is the only green vegetable on the Thanksgiving menu, but autumn offers hearty options such as kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, chef and cookbook author Kim O'Donnel writes. She recommends adding kale to mashed potatoes, turning Brussels sprouts into a slaw side dish and roasting broccoli pickup sticks in the oven.
Children ages 3 to 5 almost doubled their intake of vegetables on days when they were given meals that included regular vegetable servings and dishes with pureed veggies versus days without the pureed veggies, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. Children appeared to like the doctored recipes as much as they liked the standard meals, but researchers noted that this is not the only strategy parents can use to make children eat vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene and carotenoids, such as tomatoes and carrots, can help ward off skin cancer and sun damage. They can act as antioxidants and help improve blood circulation to the skin.