Vegetables. Not always easy to accept!

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For kids or grown-ups, vegetables are not the most popular. Yet, they have plenty of qualities that benefit health: they are low in calorie because they contain no fat and have a great portion of water and dietary fibre.  They are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Inadequate intake of vegetables (and fruits) is one of the main causes of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancers, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity.

From a young age, vegetables are presented on the plate, but they are not always easy to accept. Often the strategy of camouflage is used, which generally allows to increase consumption of one-half to one portion per day. On the other hand, this would not be a strategy to favour long-term since it does not allow to identify and to recognize the taste of food which is essential to learn how to enjoy food. For toddlers (0-5 years old), it is important to present food on multiple occasions. Often 8 to 10 presentations may be necessary to enjoy a new food and to get used to the taste. Here are some tips to use with kids or grown-ups, to help eating vegetables:

  • Plan them in your menu (lunches, dinners, snacks). Garnish your fridge and always have prepared crudities available.
  • Vary the vegetables you offer and present them in different ways.
  • Serve them as appetizers, for example as salad, soup, juices or raw veggies with a dip
  • In the plate, offer them roasted, steamed, with a sauce or au gratin.
  • Integrate them to your recipes. The most difficult ones to accept can be chopped or grated and added to sauces, meat loafs, salads, muffins or cakes.
  • Increase the size of the portion served. Chances of consuming more will be greater.
  • Use a popular sauce to introduce a new vegetable. A new taste paired with a familiar taste will increase the chances of acceptability.
  • Be a model. If you also consumed vegetables and they will tend to imitate you.
  • Involve them in the preparation of food.
  • Give them the opportunity to choose what they will put on their plate. They can participate in the planning of the menu, or they can create their salad, pizza, or fajitas with a few proposed ingredients.
  • With toddlers, fun presentations may be successful. Ex. Use vegetables to design a clown face or to create an animal by inserting sticks of raw vegetables into a ball of cheese or dip.

During the summer, enjoy the freshness and the availability of local vegetables to add variety, color and health in your plate.

For more nutritional tips, contact a registered dietitian here


MIREILLE GUIBORD, B. Sc., RD  – A graduate of McGill University with a degree in Dietetics & Human Nutrition and member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ), Mireille is dedicated to giving her customers nutrition advice that contributes greatly to improving health, quality of life and performance. Via the adoption of healthy eating habits, Mireille has helped children, adults and older persons who are concerned with weight management, sports nutrition or with other health problem(s) related to food (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies/intolerances, diseases of the digestive system, etc.). It will be a pleasure to work with you to help you achieve your goals.

To book an appointment with Mireille, click here.









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