Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Include Vegetables in Your Kids' Diet Minus the Tears and Battle of the Wills

One of the challenges that most parents face is getting their kids to eat vegetables.  Most kids get to taste vegetables when they start eating solids as parents introduce them one vegetable at a time.  Some kids easily adapt to the taste and get accustomed to them; while other kids show their dislike from day 1.  But kids who learn to eat vegetables at an early age or who have been eating vegetables since they started solids can sometimes start snubbing these nutritious foods for reasons parents usually do not know.  That is the case with my eldest son.  We introduced different kinds of vegetables to him since he started eating solids and he continued to eat vegetables as he grew older.  Then, all of a sudden (when he was around 3 years old), he became a more picky eater and refused to eat some vegetables.  This led me to become more creative and resourceful to ensure that vegetables continue to be part of his diet.

Photo source here.

Let me share some tips or some ways by which we, parents, can include vegetables in our kids' diet without the power struggle or tears.  Hope these tips would help make your meal times something that you and your kids would look forward to.

1.  Mince or puree vegetables and mix them in sauces. - This is one strategy that I hear most moms do.  The taste of the vegetables get overpowered by the sauces thus kids no longer notice that there are vegetables in the dish.

2.  Air-dry vegetables, pulverize and add to regular dishes. - This is similar to number 1 except that here vegetables are air-dried.  This strategy is highly recommended for leafy vegetables like malunggay which are also easy to pulverize once dry.

3.  Pair or combine vegetables with the kid's favorite foods. - Try combining vegetables with some of your kid's favorite foods.  An example is cheese.  Most kids love cheese and many dishes that have cheese as one of the ingredients.  You can try cheese quesadillas or cheese fingers/sticks.  You may spread torn or chopped spinach leaves together with the grated cheese as you make the quesadilla or roll the leaves together with the cheese sticks.  Try adding spinach also to pasta. 

4.  Use products that are fortified with vegetable ingredients. - There are now products that add vegetables to them to make them more nutritious.  An example of this product is Del Monte's tomato sauce with MMK.  MMK stands for Mongo, Malunggay and Kalabasa.  I usually buy this product whenever I need to use tomato sauce.

5.  Juice them or integrate them to fruit juices. - One example of a vegetable juice we like making is the camote tops juice.  We add some calamansi and sweetener after extracting the juice by boiling.  You may read the recipe and read more about its benefits here.  We also drink the award-winning Vitaplus juice/natural health drink whose ingredients are 5 nutritious and medicinal vegetables/herbs namely: malunggay, saluyot, uray, dahon ng sili and talbos ng camote or camote tops.  The great thing about Vitaplus juice is that it comes in 3 fruit flavors (dalandan, melon and guyabano) thus kids like drinking it without detecting the inherent taste of the vegetables.  My eldest likes to drink this with me and his Dad.  It is best for babies 6 months and older, growing active children and the elderly although regular adults can also benefit much from regularly drinking the juice because, through its nutritious ingredients, it helps boost the body's immune system.  I highly recommend this product to parents with children who are picky eaters and who do not like eating vegetables.  This is a much better alternative to powdered juices in the market which has high sugar content and artificial flavors and ingredients.  It has been awarded the Outstanding Herbal Juice Drink Brand from 2006 to 2009, the Consumers Quality Award in 2007, Consumers Quality Award in 2008 and the Consumers Choice Award in 2009 among others. 

Photo source here.
Let me share some of the benefits of the individual ingredients of this juice. (Source: Vitaplus brochure) 
Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) - Scientific research has proven that these leaves can rebuild weak bodies, enrich anemic blood and nourish breastfed babies.  Ounce per ounce, it contains 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots, 4 times the Calcium in milk, 2 times the Protein in milk, 3 times the Iron in spinach and 3 times the Potassium in bananas.  It can help prevent 300 kinds of diseases/illnesses.  It helps prevent malnutrition and fight anemia.  It is a diuretic (increases the discharge of urine) and lactagogue (increases mother's supply of breast milk) as well.
Saluyot (Corchorus Olitorius) - This is reported to be a potent demulcent, diuretic, lactagogue, purgative and tonic.  It may also be a remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis, fever and pectoral pains.  It is rich in vitamins, carotinoids, calcium, potassium and dietary fibers.
Uray (Amaranthus Spinosus) - It is a good expectorant and an effective astringent, especially in stopping liquid bowels.  Locally, it has been reported that a decoction (flavor extract obtained from boiling in water) of the root relieves one's breathing from acute bronchitis.  
Dahon ng Sili (Capsicum Frutescens) - These leaves are excellent sources of calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A and B.  It is an important gastrointestinal oxidant and also serves as a stimulant, digestive, lactogogue, antispasmodic (prevents, relieves or lowers the incidence of muscle spasm) and anti-pyretic (reduces or relieves fever).
Talbos ng Kamote (Ipomoea Batatas) - This is the only plant that is very rich in iodine, high in calories and vitamin A.  It lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and is a remedy for constipation and stomach distress.

For only Php40.00 (cost per sachet) each day, parents can include these 5 vegetables/ herbs in their kids' diets minus the tears and battle of the wills. The juice is sold at Php800 per box of 20 sachets or booster packs with 3 boxes each at Php2,400. You can also buy 10 boxes and get 2 boxes free by buying the power pack. Purchasing the power pack entitles you to 25% discount on succeeding purchases or repeat orders.
You may get in touch with me through email (  or 09178345846 if you are interested to find out more about the nutritional value and medicinal qualities of these power herbs found in Vitaplus juice/health drink.  You may also order Vitaplus products through me since I am a distributor.

No comments:

Post a Comment