A lot of moms struggle to make their little ones eat the greens. The moment the kids see green veges on their plate, they make faces. It’s so difficult to convince them to eat. But like most of us understand, it is equally important to let them eat their green veges.
Leaves like spinach, methi, chawli, mint, shepu, coriander, amaranth(rajgira), lettuce or even lesser known or less consumed leafy vegetables like radish leaves, drumstick leaves, cauliflower leaves and so on have a lot of nutrients which are so helpful to us. Vitamin A helps in vision and growth; vitamin E helps in growth, reproduction and as an antioxidant, vitamin K helps in the blood clotting, folate which plays an important part in cell formation and hence is very essential for children. They are also good sources of calcium, iron and also vitamin C which inturn helps in iron absorption. These green leafy vegetables also provide other essential minerals like potassium, magnesium along with other lesser known phytonutrients. They also contain little amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are a type of essential fatty acids.
These leaves are a great source of dietary fibre and hence help in easy bowel movements and prevent constipation.
The challenge truly is how do we get them to eat? Giving these veges in their plain form might not be acceptable. Adding them to parathas or dals, dumplings, pakodas is accepted, may be in the form of soups or gravies as in palak-paneer.
While introducing these vegetables, introduce one at a time. And if not accepted in that form, don’t fuss around it. Introduce again in a different form a few days later.
Don’t give them just leaves, while introducing any new food; make one of their favourite food as well.
Let them choose menus once in a while and let them help you in shopping and cooking. Making them take part in the whole process, makes them look forward to eating that particular item/dish.
Change the texture: make them into soups, dips, chutneys -kids love these.
How much is enough? At least one serving a day!
One easy recipe is stuffed aloo parathas with chopped palak with coriander chutney. The kids don’t even realise there’s palak in the parathas!
You can also knead the roti dough in palak or coriander puree to make it green. Or make green rice! Be creative and let the health benefits reap on your kids!
Tags : Women, mothers, kids, greens, salad