It’s simple: eat your veggies!

You are what you eat.

If you eat good things, good things happen. If you eat bad things, bad things happen. If you eat bad things, how can you expect your body to run well?

If you were to put 50 octane gas in your car, would you expect it to run as well as if you used 87 octane gas?

Likewise, if you eat processed foods and drink soda (news flash – diet soda is even worse), you would expect to have problems sooner or later.

Almost all published “diets” and health experts, including this author, recommend increasing the amount of vegetables you eat. Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, high in fiber, and high in antioxidants. Vegetables fight heart disease and diabetes and cancer and weight gain, and the list goes on.

More importantly, encouraging your children to eat a diet rich in vegetables and reduce their processed food intake is one of the most important things you can do to alleviate learning and behavior issues improve.

Many parents tell me “my child does not like vegetables”.

I help many parents that have kids with ADD, ADHD, and other learning/behavior issues who say they don’t like vegetables. Here is what I do with my patients to work around that problem:

First, I work with with the parents to identify a few vegetables their child does like. This is almost always successful. I then recommend that the parents start by offering those vegetables with meals and have these vegetables available every day. Finally, approximately once per week, begin serving a different vegetable, prepared in a different way. This works!

An important part of this plan is that the parents need to eat their veggies too! Children tend to mimic their parents. If they see their parents and other siblings enjoying a vegetable, chances are much higher that they will try them and like them as well. Eventually they will turn the corner and begin enjoying more vegetables. I’ve seen this work many times.

Another trick is to prepare vegetables in different ways and with different flavors. Vegetables can be served raw, stir-fried, oven roasted, steamed, boiled, or grilled. Different spices can also make your vegetable dishes more exciting as can adding ingredients such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I know you want the best for your children and I know you want your children to be healthy. Practice supplying plentiful, tasty, varied vegetables, for you and your children to enjoy, and you will help them reach their full potential.