Nutritionists pack lunches for their children that offer lean protein, low-fat dairy, plenty of fruit and vegetable options, and a treat. Registered dietitian Kit Broihier says she includes ingredients for a wrap, such as turkey, lettuce, tomato and a tortilla, so her daughter can make it herself, while RD Ilaria St. Florian says she tries to strike a balance between healthy foods and foods she knows her children will eat.
Making vegetables part of each meal and snack can encourage children to eat more of them, but hiding veggies in recipes is not a long-term solution, registered dietitian Natalia Stasenko writes. Since children may find some vegetables have a bitter taste, Stasenko writes that it's OK to serve a flavorful dip or add a little sugar, salt or cheese because the nutrition benefits outweigh the splurge.
Chefs and restaurants will get more creative with salads and vegetable dishes next year as more consumers discover the benefits of going meatless at more meals, Technomic predicts in its trend list for 2013. Chicken and a wider selection of grains are also likely to show up on more menus next year, the report says, along with smaller dishes that feed our growing hunger for snacks.
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.