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Children and vegetables can co-exist

Many children are leery when it comes to eating vegetables — especially ones they have never tried before. At times, it may seem impossible to get your children to eat their vegetables. However, with patience and persistence, children and vegetables can coexist.

Here are some tips to help your children eat their veggies:

*Try preparing the vegetable differently. Perhaps your child would like broccoli better raw instead of cooked.

*Try mixing vegetables together for different taste and texture combinations.

*Offer a low-fat, yogurt-based dip or salsa to eat with the vegetables.

*Offer the vegetables in a relaxed environment. Forcing, threatening, punishing, or even rewarding a child in order to encourage vegetable consumption are all methods that tend to be ineffective.

*Sometimes it takes up to 10 (or more) exposures to a vegetable for a child to decide it tastes good. Keep offering them!

*Have fresh vegetables and fruit cut up and ready to eat in the refrigerator so your children have a quick and easy snack.

According to the new dietary guidelines, half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. They contain many vitamins and minerals that help children to grow and be healthy. It may take time and effort, but vegetables can be part of your children’s daily diet.

For more information, contact Christina Rittenbach at the Stutsman County Extension Office at Stutsman County Extension Service, 116 1/2 East 1st St., Jamestown, 252-9030 or email              christina.ritten