Young people have an incredible ability to grasp a concept if it is easy for them to understand. Their ability to become excited about anything -- including vegetables -- is amazing. The trick is to frame it right.
We can't just tell them vegetables are good for them or they have to eat their veggies to get dessert. Even if we tell them vegetables are super foods capable of giving them super powers, don't expect them to just start eating them. Meal time is not just dinner; it's a chance for your mini super heroes to recharge.
Teach your children the power of produce with this easy to understand, color-coded super power produce guide.
Opt for Orange for Super Vision
Foods high in vitamin A are a great way for your child to develop and improve his or her vision. These foods also help maintain healthy immune system functions and promote cellular growth and communication.
Foods that are orange in color include carrots, yams and pumpkins. Unlike some other vegetables, orange and yellow veggies are easier to digest after being cooked because the cooking process allows the body to absorb the vitamin more efficiently. So grab your little side-kick and get cooking.
Grab Your Greens for Super Brain Power
Green produce like spinach, asparagus and green beans are an excellent source of various B vitamins. The B vitamin complex includes eight different water-soluble vitamins that promote nervous system functioning, increase energy and improve the condition of skin, hair and nails.
Because the group of B vitamins is so vast, it is a good idea to get the little tykes to eat a variety of these foods. Try making fresh garden salads with from your family garden to make it even more fun for your kids to eat healthy.
Reach for the Reds for Super Healing Power
Fruits and vegetables that are primarily red -- bell peppers, berries and red cabbage for example -- are especially high in vitamin C, long known to improve immune system functioning. That means that people who consume diets rich in this water-soluble vitamin have bodies that are more able to fight infection, heal wounds and prevent the build-up of free radicals for long-term health. Now, don't expect the kids to understand what all this means, just remind them that super foods have super powers to keep them super healthy.
Break Out the Blues for Super Staying Power
Blue produce such as grapes, blueberries and blackberries are full of antioxidants helping protect the body from damage caused by free radicals -- antioxidants stabilize free radical molecules before they do damage to healthy tissue.
Free radicals come from pollutants like smog and can wreak havoc on the body as they scramble to neutralize themselves. Consuming foods high in antioxidants protects your body from the inside out, setting up its own line of defense against these unstable atoms.
Meal time doesn't have to be a disaster. We can get our kids to eat well without resorting to dessert as a bargaining chip or playing "Let's make a deal." By reminding them the importance of the right kinds of super fuel, they can be the amazing little super heroes they are. Getting them their own super hero cape might not hurt either.
You could even get one for yourself.