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Thread: Do kids really need veggies? How much? page

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    MikkiB's Avatar
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    Do kids really need veggies? How much?

    Primal Fuel
    We eat fairly primal meals, but we haven't worked our way up to organ meats (except liver every so often). We make lots of dishes that incorporate onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and 2-3 times a month have stir fry with broccoli or cabbage. On "chunk of meat" nights, my kids aren't that enthusiastic about a side of veggies (unless covered in cheese sauce), and don't really care for salads.

    I'm pretty comfortable that the adults can relax on veggie intake - we probably still eat more than when on the SAD diet - but I'm wondering what you guys think about how many servings do kids really need? My boys are 8 and 10. One of the 8 year olds is gluten-insensitive and also very small, although he's healthy and I think he just takes after the little side of the family (43 lbs compared to his fraternal twins' 55 lbs).

    I'm leaning towards relaxing and not worrying if a couple of meals a week are veggie-free, but I'd like to know what ya'll do

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    An interesting question. IMO the answer is no/very little. I feel like vegetables are a fine accent to a meal for kids if they like them, but its of little to no use to try and force them on a kid. Kids burn through so many calories that veggies really arent even the best use of their tiny stomach space.

    I fill mine up on fatty meats and eggs first, fruits and starches second, milk/cheese third, and some nutrition devoid rice products last. Somewhere after all that I'll ask em if they wanna carrot

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    Work with the kids and come up with some sort of compromise based on what kind of vegetable they would most prefer to eat. If they can tolerate cheese, melt cheese on top.

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    anova01's Avatar
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    I don't know about forcing them to eat veggies, but maybe having some that they like around as snacks would be good? Maybe they like some raw instead of cooked to munch on. They're good sources of vitamins. Honestly, the idea of kids not liking vegetables is still puzzling to me so I may be a bit biased.
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    MikkiB's Avatar
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    Haha, already responses from opposite ends of the spectrum

    They like the veggie-filled stews, stir -fries, etc., cucumbers, cabbage if prepared right, and broccoli/cauliflower with cheese sauce (and we have one of these 4-5 times a week, at least when hubby cooks. I'm more of the chunk of meat and a salad cook)
    Not so exciting, but will eat some if we insist: peas and carrots (peas aren't even a veggie, but it's green LOL), salad (lettuce doesn't have that much nutrition anyway), broccoli without cheese sauce
    Tasted and rejected: spinach (raw or cooked), kim chi, brussel sprouts
    I'm sure there are more veggies we eat, but my mind goes blank after that.

    Again, I'm just wondering if I ought to be working that hard to push them to eat more (or finding ways to make it more attractive), or if what we are doing already is OK. We both work full time so coming home at night and coming up with creative veggie ideas isn't my idea of a relaxing evening, ya know?

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    MikkiB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    An interesting question. IMO the answer is no/very little. I feel like vegetables are a fine accent to a meal for kids if they like them, but its of little to no use to try and force them on a kid. Kids burn through so many calories that veggies really arent even the best use of their tiny stomach space.

    I fill mine up on fatty meats and eggs first, fruits and starches second, milk/cheese third, and some nutrition devoid rice products last. Somewhere after all that I'll ask em if they wanna carrot
    My intuition is somewhere along those lines, too ... I just don't want to not provide proper nutrition while they are growing. We give them Vit D and a multi-vitamin a couple times a week too, and I'm not sure the multi is necessary either...

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikkiB View Post
    Again, I'm just wondering if I ought to be working that hard to push them to eat more (or finding ways to make it more attractive), or if what we are doing already is OK. We both work full time so coming home at night and coming up with creative veggie ideas isn't my idea of a relaxing evening, ya know?
    Here's the thing: you are applying adult standards to kids as to what sort of variety of foods they ought to want to eat. It sounds like there are plenty of vegetables that they do like. You don't have to be creative. It's okay to serve them the same vegetable every night.

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    The Rebooted Body's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    Here's the thing: you are applying adult standards to kids as to what sort of variety of foods they ought to want to eat. It sounds like there are plenty of vegetables that they do like. You don't have to be creative. It's okay to serve them the same vegetable every night.
    This is a huge problem...adults applying adult standards to kids for eating. If you start your child on veggies from before the age of 1 and never really feed them any processed garbage, their flavor profile will be that of accepting veggies for the most part. They'll like the taste of real food.

    I've noticed that the vast majority of the "but my kids don't like that stuff" comments come from parents who have been okay with feeding their child processed crap and now want to "introduce" veggies.

    It's important that this is done from the beginning or the road WILL be harder. If a baby ate baby cereal from 6 months old, of course they hate veggies.

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    Just enough to get some VitC and potassium perhaps? If you're making a veggie dish for yourself anyway you could offer it self-serve style so they can decide. Nothing wrong with using them as a cheese vehicle (a little grated/crumbled cheese goes a long way for flavor). When I was a kid all veggies were canned and boiled with zero fat so it's no wonder we ignored them.

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Yeah, I really can't come up with anything that they could possibly be deficient in with what I outlined.

    My kids have grown up eating this way and without processed crap. I think if your kids like veggies then let em eat that and if you wanna offer it to them with their meal thats fine, but I'm not gonna be dogmatic about it. Veggies are interchangeable with fruit for phytochemicals and vitamin C. If your an overweight middle aged person losing weight choose the veggies for bulk and low calorie.... if your a young growing kid that's expending a ton of energy choose the fruit.

    Meat, egg, fruit, dairy, and tubers (some squash) are what my kids eat with some supplemented FCLO. This is not deficient in anything whatsoever.

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