Yummy Vegetable Recipes will Encourage Your Kids to Eat Healthy

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Preparing yummy vegetable recipes for children is not as arduous a task as it is made out to be, especially since there are considerable options pertaining to the varieties of cuisines and seasonings available in the market. Vegetables for kids are considered to be less tasty as compared with the processed, high-fat food available, so the way in which to win over a fussy child is to make their vegetable dish fun, creative, and as tasty as the junk food they crave.

Stick with Their Favorites

Vegetable recipes that are based on the child’s favorite food will encourage them to eat more of it. If your child is particularly fond of a particular meal, consider making a vegetable version of it with the same flavors used in the original dish, but leave out any oil, fat, and other unhealthy accompaniments that you can.

For instance, if they like macaroni and cheese, you could come up with your own yummy vegetable recipes based around the dish and include whole wheat macaroni, a variety of vegetables, and less fattening varieties of cheese.

If your child is a fan of burgers, you could construct your own healthy version of them by layering lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and coleslaw between multigrain buns, and adding a vegetable patty or using lean turkey burgers as opposed to a beef patty. This dish served with sweet potato fries will look exactly like a fast food meal, but will be much lower in calorie content, and will contain at least two servings of vegetables.

Vegetables for Kids will be Eaten Faster When they Look Good

Kids will be more likely to form a lasting relationship with vegetables and other healthy foods if they are presented in a manner that is fun and aesthetically pleasing. There are plenty of yummy vegetable recipes available that will help vegetables taste delicious.

Adding fun and simple touches to meals, such as decorating a salad to make it look like a smiley face or their favorite cartoon character, is likely to please your child and will enable him or her to enjoy their healthy serving of vegetables rather than forcing them to eat boring, uninspiring meals.

It is okay to offer them a few condiments on the side, such as limited servings of ketchup or mayonnaise, but it is also a good idea to introduce them to the more healthy condiments such as mustard. Introducing your child to a healthy and balanced diet early in life will ensure that they are getting their daily nutritional requirements and will enable them to avoid obesity and other illnesses as they get older.

Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

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Dietary fiber has health benefits from weight-loss, to lower cholesterol and cancer prevention. What’s the truth about dietary fiber? Dietary fiber is found in all plant foots and consists of the parts of the food that your body cannot digest. Many people refer to dietary fiber as roughage. The fiber passes through your body intact because it cannot be digested. There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, whereas insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. 
Insoluble fiber travels through your digestive system relatively unchanged and promotes a healthy digestive system by moving waste through your system. Whole grains, such as wheat, oats, bran, nuts and most vegetables contain insoluble fiber. A diet rich in insoluble fiber can help to regulate bowel movements, which prevents constipation. Eating a diet rich in insoluble dietary fiber can also help prevent hemorrhoids and protect the health of the colon. 
Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Dissolved soluble fiber takes on a gel-like consistency in your digestive system. Soluble fiber can help to lower glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and reduce cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps to lower the blood pressure. Eat oats, beans, apples, carrots, barley and citrus fruits to get natural sources of soluble fiber. The absorption of sugar from the digestive system into the blood is slowed when soluble fiber is included in the diet. 

High-fiber diets may also help you to lose weight and control your weight. When you eat high-fiber foods, you chew longer and eat less. High-fiber foods help you to feel fuller faster, and you stay full longer than eating foods that are low in fiber. Drink plenty of water and enjoy the benefits of a high-fiber diet. 

Choosing the Best Fruit & Vegetables Juices

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Every person needs to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The best way to get nutrition from fruits and vegetables is to eat them raw. Steamed vegetables retain more vitamins and minerals than boiled vegetables. Vegetables that have been lightly grilled in olive oil are tasty and retain most of the nutrients your body needs. The alternative to eating raw fruits and berries is to drink fruit juice. Fruit and berry juices that contain most of the natural pulp are better for you than strained juices because the pulp provides necessary fiber and extra vitamins and minerals. Drinking vegetables in a juice mixture that contains flavorful fruits and berries can increase the nutritional value of your juice drink. For example, tomatoes contain lycopene which is important for men’s prostate health, but not everyone likes the taste of plain tomato juice. Vegetable juice mixtures can be made at home using a juicer. Some juices available at the supermarket may contain excess sodium and sugars, so read the nutrition labels carefully. Buy a low-sodium, low-sugar or sugar-free juice when possible.
Cranberry and orange juice are both loaded with Vitamin C, which is an important immune system supporting nutrient. Select an orange juice with some pulp or make your own juice at home. A cranberry juice mixed with blueberry juice and cherry juice makes a delicious, nutritious juice cocktail. Pomegranate juice tastes delicious and is loaded with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, but pomegranate juice is high in sugar. If you are counting calories, drink one 8-ounce of pomegranate juice each day. You can dilute juices that have a high sugar content with water to help reduce the amount of calories and still get most of the benefits of drinking juices. Red grape juice is rich in the antioxidants flavanoids and resveratrol that your cells need to function properly and repair damage. Select a red grape juice that is made from the whole grape, including the seeds and skin. 
When you make juice at home using a juicer, many nutrients are tossed out with the pulp and the skin. Use a juicer that pulverizes the whole fruits and vegetables so that you get the maximum nutritional benefit from fresh juices. Try mixing different fruits, vegetables and berries to create  your own unique juice blends.
For more information about the benefits of juice and juicing, see:
Mayo Clinic, Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?, Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., 2010