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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

6 Clever Ways to Get Your Toddler to Eat Vegetables

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Getting your toddler to eat vegetables can be a challenge. Some children love vegetables and new foods, while others may require repeated exposure or different preparation.

Not only do vegetables provide essential nutrients for growth and development, but they can also help your children become more balanced eaters at a young age.

If you’re struggling to get your toddlers to devour their vegetables, these 6 tips can help.

If your child refuses a vegetable, it is easy for them to become discouraged, especially if you’ve offered them several times to no avail. However, if you continue to offer the same vegetables, there is a good chance that they will try them at some point.

Whenever you expose your toddler to a new vegetable or vegetable that they may not have liked in the past, keep portion sizes and ways of cooking in mind. Start with a small serving, like a bite or two, to avoid being turned off or overwhelmed by a full serving.

If your toddler has turned down certain preparations like raw spinach, try adding the vegetables to foods they already like. For example, spinach recipes like muffins or smoothies can be more appealing than their fresh counterparts.

However, avoid serving vegetables this way only. If all the veggies are “hidden” in muffins or smoothies, your toddler may choose less or try things that are served fresh or alone.

The appearance and temperature of a vegetable can also make a difference. Some children may prefer vegetable coins instead of strips and heated vegetables to cold ones. If your toddler loves pasta and fries, cut vegetables into these familiar shapes.

As you eat, focus on serving the vegetables and let your toddler do the eating. If you do not eat the vegetables served, try not to show your disappointment and avoid offering another option that is not yet served. You can try again and again for your next meal.

Summary

Repeated exposure to vegetables is important for toddlers to try. Even if your child refuses a vegetable the first few times, try the same or different preparations.

If you can get your kids to the grocery store, spend some time with them in the vegetable section to introduce them to vegetables.

Have them pick out a butternut squash, for example, or point out the exact tomato they want from the stack. Talk to them about what the vegetables are called and what they taste like.

Even if you don’t bring your children with you to the store, you can choose them from a vegetable catalog before leaving or have groceries unwrapped with you when you return.

Let your children not only help with the shopping, but also help in the kitchen or watch you prepare meals. Offer your toddler a choice of two types of vegetables or ask how they would like their vegetables to be prepared before they eat.

When making a smoothie, help them put a handful of kale, spinach, or other vegetable in the blender. On pizza night, allow your children to choose their preferred vegetable toppings or to build their own pizzas with at least one vegetable.

As they get older and more comfortable in the kitchen, they can help mix shredded vegetables into pancake batter, put vegetables in a skillet under your supervision, or even chop or tear up softer greens.

Over time, constant participation, learning about fresh produce, and having a say in ingredients and preparations can increase the likelihood that your children will at some point attempt to try a vegetable or two.

Summary

Involving children in meal preparation such as shopping or cooking is a great way to increase their wellbeing with vegetables.

Some children may take a long time to warm up with vegetables, especially when served on their own as a side dish. In these cases, it can be helpful to include vegetables in meals that you are already enjoying.

For example, if your toddler loves scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, or tacos, try adding chopped or shredded vegetables to these dishes. For spaghetti lovers, add some zucchini noodles to the mixture.

As toddlers get older and can be more active in preparing their meals, offer boiled carrots, peas, sliced ​​peppers, mushrooms, or other vegetables when making pizza or toast. Ask them to make a smiley face using vegetables of their choice.

Summary

Including vegetables in your toddler’s favorite dishes can make them more appealing. Classic dishes like eggs, tacos, pizza, toast, and pasta can all contain vegetables.

Sometimes other aspects of a meal, rather than the vegetables themselves, can influence a child’s desire to eat vegetables.

If your toddler rejects vegetables when they are cut or chopped, try cutting them into stars, hearts, or other shapes instead. You can make these shapes with a knife or buy fruit and vegetable cutters to make it easier.

If you are offering vegetables with a meal, serve them on brightly colored bowls or plates. There are also lots of fun forks and spoons, like dinosaurs, construction tools, or animal-themed options.

Freezing veggie smoothies in popsicle shapes is another fun way to serve veggies.

Summary

With colorful dishes, playful utensils and vegetables cut in different shapes, eating is even more fun.

One of the great things about vegetables is that they are easy to mix into dishes, often barely noticeable. The ways to add vegetables to meals are practically endless.

You can hide vegetables in sauces and dips by mixing them with other ingredients. For example, try making green mac and cheese, vegetarian tomato sauce, or caramelized onion dip.

You can even make vegetable-laden applesauce with beets and carrots, smoothies with almost any vegetable, and mixed fruit and vegetable ice cream on a stick.

Adding shredded zucchini or grated cauliflower to oatmeal is another way to boost your toddler’s vegetable intake. When making pancakes, waffles, or muffins, try adding spinach, shredded zucchini or carrots, pureed sweet potatoes or beets, and pumpkin or pumpkin puree.

Don’t forget foods like meatballs, salmon pies, egg bites, or frittatas. You can also add chopped vegetables and herbs.

Summary

Vegetables don’t always have to be served alone. They can be incorporated into almost an infinite number of different foods, including smoothies, sauces, dips, muffins, pancakes, meatballs, egg dishes, and more.

Many packaged foods claim to be laden with vegetables. You might be tempted to try some of these options to help your toddler eat more vegetables.

While some of these foods work well as part of a varied diet with many different vegetable preparations, avoid making them the only vegetables you sell.

They may end up being your toddler’s preferred veggie prep, making it harder to serve fresh or homemade alternatives. In addition, some of these products are not suitable for young children.

It’s also important to read the ingredient list and nutrition label to make sure the health and vegetable content statements are true. Choose low-sodium, added-sugar options that have vegetables or vegetable flours listed among the first ingredients.

Summary

Some packaged foods can be a way to include more vegetables in your toddler’s diet. Choose foods with healthy ingredients and with no or minimal added sodium and sugar.

To increase the chances of your toddlers eating vegetables, opt for those that are reputed to have kid-friendly tastes and textures.

Child-friendly vs. adventurous vegetables

Children often enjoy foods that have a slightly sweet, mild, or neutral taste. In the meantime, they don’t like strong flavors and smells. However, this is individual and your toddler may have different preferences.

When introducing vegetables to your toddler for the first time, start with options like carrots, peas, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, avocado, spinach, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and butternut squash.

Which vegetables your toddler likes may surprise you. If familiar vegetables go down well, try more adventurous or stronger-tasting options like beets, broccoli, jicama, mushrooms, cabbage, beets, or kale.

Some toddlers like the texture more than the taste of certain vegetables like mushrooms. Try finely chopping or mashing these ingredients to add to sauces, porridges, or other dishes.

security

Remember that the tips above are general recommendations for increasing vegetable intake in toddlers and young children – they are not specific to any particular age group. Always follow the recommendations of your pediatrician or nutritionist for safe feeding of your toddler (1).

Remember to cut the food into small pieces or the size appropriate for your toddler’s age, and cook or puree vegetables as needed. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, chunks of raw, hard vegetables pose a choking hazard for children under 4 years of age (2).

If you suspect your toddler is not eating vegetables, or if they are having more general or serious eating problems, it’s important to speak to a doctor to make sure your toddler stays safe, happy, and healthy.

Summary

Sweeter and milder vegetables are usually good to introduce to your toddlers first. Save vegetables with stronger tastes and smells or lesser-known textures for later.

Getting your toddler to eat vegetables can be difficult, but it can be done.

Even if your child refuses a vegetable on the first try, don’t let that stop you from serving them again later, possibly prepared in a new way. It can be helpful to include your children in shopping and cooking, or to add vegetables to familiar meals that they enjoy.

It may take your toddler some time to eat more vegetables, even if you follow some of the tips on this list. Keep in mind that many parents experience some bumps along the way when feeding their children. Every meal is a new opportunity!

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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