In my Happy Healthy Eating for Kids Facebook group, one of the moms asked which vegetables are bad vegetables and how to get her child to drink more water.
If you'd like to join the group, we'd love to have you. You can join here.
In a nutshell, I think that there are no bad vegetables. I understand that some vegetables have a bit of a bad press and there are lots of reasons for this.
If you look at fruits, some fruits have very high sugar content like watermelons, grapes, dates and other tropical fruits.
It depends how you are using these fruits. If you are using these fruits as a treat then that’s alright. I do think that we need to be careful of high sugar but I don’t think that we need to be overly anxious about it.
I think that if you get your children into this habit of turning to fruits as a snack rather than cookies and packets, then I don’t care if it has high sugar content.
During the summer, my five-year-old eats a lot of watermelon but I prefer that to him having lots of cookies.
I also think that fruits are a stepping stone away from vegetables.
A lot of children don’t like vegetables but if you get your child to get into the habit of eating fruits, they are more likely to make that progression to vegetables later on.
My nine-year-old who used to be super picky now eats vegetables.
Related: Healthy Toddler Lunch Ideas
Another reason why some fruits and vegetables get a bad press is due to the amount of carbohydrates in them. Some fruits are high in carbohydrates like bananas.
If your diet is loaded with carbohydrates then you do need to reduce it but I think a little bit of carbohydrate in your diet is fine. I think you have to look at this from where you’re coming from.
I’ve seen people label sweetcorn as a bad fruit and vegetable but it’s actually full of fiber. I think it’s a fabulous fruit and vegetable. I would prefer that over a slice of bread which is the alternative. You need to think about what you’re comparing it to.
Another thing to think about are the chemicals that go into them but that this a whole another can of worms.
Of course we don’t want our kids to eat chemicals but again, think of what the alternative is. And I would say that even if you can’t eat organic since it’s really expensive, you would get more benefit in eating fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic than having a diet that doesn’t have a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Bottom line is fruits and vegetables are great! Some of them are better than others but you can’t go wrong with them.
When your child is eating solid foods, their main drink should be water. Water should be what you turn to when you quench your thirst. If your child is used to drinking other things, like sugary drinks and even fruit juice, you can make this change.
So why not fruit juices?
These juices are obviously good and full of fruits but they are very high in sugar content. I think having a bit of fruit juice is fine from time to time but this is as a treat. Not your main stay of what quenches your thirst.
Sugary drinks have problems for many reasons.
Firstly, they don’t quench your thirst that much due to the sugar.
Secondly, you can really change the taste of food. If you try drinking something while you’re eating, those fruits and vegetables would not taste as flavorsome if you drink it with a can of Coke.
Also it trains your children to want to have sweet things, so if they get used to this high level of sugar and we give them fruits and vegetables, they don’t think it taste very good.
So those are the main reasons to stay clear from sugary drinks. You can just stop and stop buying sugary drinks and keep water in reach with your children.
We used to get those syrups that you add and I just stopped buying them. My children adapted and drink water now, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Occasionally, we have a treat of something fizzy but not very often.
So if you make the switch, your children will get used to it. They may protest for a few days but if you stay firm they will make the switch.
Basically you want to look at their urine which I know is not very pleasant but it should be light and clear. But if it’s dark and yellowish, it means they are not drinking enough. If you offer them water, if it’s readily available, they will generally drink enough.
Now if you have a child which has problems with water, firstly you should take a look into the taste of your water. Water shouldn’t really taste but if you get tap water, it can have a strong calcium taste. Which isn’t a bad thing because if you have hard water, it means you aren’t getting any impurities in that water. But it does mean that the taste can be not particularly pleasant so you might want to think about getting a filter or you can buy bottled water.
You can also put in a little bit of fruit in the water or an infusion with a bit of mint to make it minty but don’t add honey because that is sweetening it.
I like to put a single drop of peppermint oil in a glass of cold water and a lovely refreshing and reviving drink.
You can’t really go wrong with fruits and vegetables and water should be the main stay of what your child is drinking!
Grab the FEEDING TODDLERS CHEAT SHEET AND FOOD DIARY!
Learn how to feed your toddler a healthy diet in a stress free way...without pressuring or nagging!