1 of 8
Vegetables and Veggie Snacks You'll Love page 1
I probably don't need to tell you how important it is to eat your vegetables: low in calories, loaded with vitamins and fiber, they're the diet equivalent of a slam dunk. People who consume lots of fruits and veggies reduce their risk for chronic diseases, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and even some types of cancer. They also tend to be slimmer. So why, then, do only 8 percent of kids meet their RDA for vegetables and only 26 percent of the nation's adults dine on veggies three or more times a day? Taste, availability, and just lack of making it a habit. Start with the following strategies.
2 of 8
Eat Colorful Veggies
3 of 8
Introduce Kids to Veggie Snacks
I'm a big believer in getting kids to enjoy vegetables in their natural state, but I'm also a realist. There are many snack options that will make munching vegetables between meals much more fun. Two staff favorites that'll stave off cravings for pretzels and chips are Crunchies Roasted Veggies and Rhythm Kale Chips (both available at Whole Foods). A fruit and veggie juice such as Apple & Eve's Apple Harvest (with butternut squash, beets, and carrots) is another way to win over the vegetable-averse.
4 of 8
Have Veggie Snacks Handy
Look beyond basic baby carrots for small packs of snap peas, broccoli, or grape tomatoes with dip that can be noshed whenever. Mann's has some cool combos. Remember: If you want your kids to try veggies, you need to have them too!
5 of 8
Try New Veggies
Hidden Valley asked students what their ideal veggie would be like—juicy, crunchy, flavorful, etc. Here are the top picks based on their kid-friendly criteria.
Multicolored (Party) Cauliflower
Don't be fooled by the brilliant colors. This veggie packs a nutritious punch—it's high in dietary fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
6 of 8
The lunch-box staple strays from its roots with fab new shades, including purples, reds, and yellows. Up the beta-carotene by cooking with a little oil.
7 of 8
It might look like it came from outer space but this veggie contains all the benefits of broccoli, with a milder flavor.
8 of 8
We love this crispy, colorful vegetable raw and sliced, but it's just as tasty when added to stir-fry dishes.
Originally published in the May 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.