Kids' Nutrition: How many vegetables does a toddler need to eat to be healthy?
Everybody needs to eat vegetables every day. The average toddler should get about ½ to ¾ of a cup of vegetables every day. And the greater the variety, the better.
Different vegetables contribute in different ways to your kid's nutrition. For example, green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts and green beans contain vitamin K to help blood clot, minerals to help maintain a healthy blood pressure, phytonutrients that fight off cancer and carotenoids that help keep eyes healthy and prevent cataract formation. Tomatoes and tomato products are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which helps to ward off breast and prostate cancers. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin are high in alpha carotene, an antioxidant that helps to protect skin against aging and sun damage.
Give vegetables to your toddler on a regular basis. Offer two choices of colorful vegetables and let your baby decide which one to eat. If he does not want to eat either choice, do not give a third choice; this will reinforce resistant behavior. Give vegetables to your child at the hungriest time.
When children are hungry they are more likely to eat what is put in front of them.
The idea of sneaking veggies into other foods is not the best way to ensure your child is eating well. It is important to teach your child to eat vegetables and tell them about the benefits of eating them. This will ensure a healthy future.