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Vegetables are good for Health

For some particular reason, why the vegetables never got eaten was forgotten but not eating them is a common theme among the smaller set. As we aged the idea of not eating vegetables tended to go out the window, simply because we knew that we should eat vegetables. Unfortunately, the idea and the practice rarely went hand-in-hand. Adults are no less likely to eat their vegetables then they were as a child. They just hide it better by eating them when others were around to appear as healthy eaters. Those often cited studies, however, saw through to the true eating habits of adults and reported that, more often than not, you’re not eating your vegetables or at least not near enough.

How much to eat

Any reasonable person knows that the government guidelines and those studies are about as realistic as a child forgoing chocolate. The studies indicate the need for 4 cups (9 servings) of vegetables per day, based on a person needing 2,000 calories per day. To some this might sound like grazing rather than eating. Unfortunately, the studies do indicate time and again that these nutritional requirements are about the right levels for keeping a body in balance with regard to all the nutrients it needs to function properly.

Which nutrients are important?

All of the nutrients found in vegetables are important in one way or another. Each helps in the functioning of the body. Some, however, are a bit more important for particular body parts then others. All are important; it’s just that some are just more important. As far as the studies are concerned, they tend to look at: Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron as the big ones to think about. There are other nutrients in vegetables that are just as important, but for the average person these are the big ones. Past the nutrients also consider that the Carbohydrates, fiber and proteins found in vegetables are important and things you need to consider in your vegetable and overall diet.

Why eat vegetables?

Consider that eating is like putting gas in your car. You need it to make the cargo. Food is the gas for the body. Don’t eat it and you won’t go. Any food will do, it’s just that some gas blends are better than others. Put a low grade gas in your tank like McDonalds and eventually the engine is going to start running rough. Put a better grade fuel in your tank and the engine will run smoother without hick-ups. The problem is, every once and a while every engine gets hick-ups. Vegetables are a better grade of gas that helps to prevent hick-ups. From these studies that have been talked about, heart hick-ups are the area where vegetables have proven, through very reliable studies, to prevent hick-ups. There are other hick-ups where some have suggested that vegetables help with preventing hick-ups like cancer, but the very reliable studies cannot say 100%, or close to it, that this is so. The heart, however, is very reliably linked to vegetables and heart health.

Health Tips for Healthy Eating Habits in Your Family

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what healthy eating is: lots of fruits and vegetables and not too much fat and sugar. But when it comes to kids, knowing what is healthy is only the start. And even if you shop ‘healthy’ it does not mean that your kid will willingly eat it. There is hope. Kids need some extra encouragement and guidance along with a few of these strategies your kid is sure to eat healthy.

Be a gatekeeper

It’s likely that the easiest way to get your kids to eat healthy is to remove the less-healthy options. Take control over what food and snack choices are in your home. If a kid is hungry they will eat it when there isn’t an alternative. Have you ever heard of a kid starving to death because his parents would not feed him potato chips?

Keep healthy food in sight

As for those less-than-good-for-you foods, keep them in high cabinets and out of your kid’s reach. Arrange your refrigerator and cabinets so that healthy foods are the first foods that you see. If you choose to have some unhealthy options in the house keep them out of sight and you and your kids will be much less likely to choose them as an option.

Make healthy food convenient

Wholesome foods, particularly fruits and vegetables require little preparation which is great for your ‘starving’ kid and you. Have a fruit basket at eye level on the counter at all times or have a container with carrots and celery sticks ready to go in the refrigerator. You might be surprised at how many more fruits and vegetables your kid will eat simply by having them visible and easy to grab.

Make learning about food fun

Taking some of the mystery out of where foods come from can work wonders for some selective eaters. Prepare family meals together, have your kid mix the ingredients and serve the food to the rest of the family. Plant a vegetable garden as a family project and put your kid in charge of watering and picking the ripe vegetables. Kids that are involved are more likely to be a willing participant in the eating process.

Keep an eye on Portion sizes

Parents often stress over how much their kids should be eating. Whether you are trying to get a selective eater to take a bite of anything green or limit the amount of dessert your sweet-toothed kid wants watching portions is necessary. Knowing the size of a healthy portion will give you some needed perspective. You can use the USDA’s Guidelines for Healthy Eating to learn about what a healthy portion is.

Set a healthy example

Keep in mind that eating meals together isn’t just a great way to catch up on your family’s day it is also the perfect time to role-model healthy eating habits. Kids learn by watching their parents…That’s food for thought!