This very week in October celebrates Nutrition all over Australia. And this year’s commemoration by Nutrition Australia draws attention to the importance of vegetable consumption with their ‘Try For 5’ campaign. The campaign is encouraging everyone in Australia to up their vegetable intake with the recommended five serves per day, hence the term ‘Try For 5’. We urge our Aurora families, who don’t already have a high vegetable intake to increase their consumption for our overall better health and wellbeing.
How to increase vegetable intake
In July this year, CSIRO and Nutrition Australia, in collaboration with other researchers from various universities and associations, created a project called VegKit to aid increasing vegetable take in children’s diets. This project was made in response to the consecutively low numbers of vegetable consumption in children from the Australian Health Surveys. The kit offers resources such as practice guidelines, supportive tools and materials, as well as evidence-based initiatives on their online registry.
Alternatively, if your child is not typically drawn to vegetables, parents could try mixing it into their favourite dish by finely chopping or blending it. They’ll never guess what was in their favourite sauce. It could also help if parents find different ways to prepare vegetables, like baking, air frying or pan frying. The crispier the better. Fun colours and shapes also pique your child’s interest.
In addition to this, it is important that parents, prominent family members, and friends lead by example. If children see the adults enjoying vegetables, they too might open their mind up to liking it. So parents, remember that children should not be the only ones upping their veggie intake this year!
Benefits of increased vegetable intake
We know that vegetable consumption brings about many benefits for one’s health and wellbeing, but it’s helpful to know the specifics so you can be more conscious about incorporating vegetables into your diets. Eating more veggies is often encouraged because of its nutritional values like fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and water. These rich qualities promote good functioning digestive systems and also aid in protecting children from strokes and a variety of diseases presently and in the future as well.
Increased vegetable intake also establishes stronger energy, which helps children be more productive and positive throughout the day. Additionally, children’s immune systems grow stronger with higher veggie consumption which keeps illnesses from intruding. Many vegetables provide iron, folate, and calcium, which are imperative for a child’s growing strength and focus along with copious other benefits.
Overall, it is safe to say the added intake of fruits and vegetables contribute to the development of children in many ways. Even though some children dislike certain fruits and vegetables, it should not be avoided. We encourage parents to get creative and help their children reach their full potential by fuelling up on nutrients from a range of vegetables.