Eat Your Vegetables!

BY AWAKE! WRITER IN BRAZIL

“They are bitter.” “They taste bad.” “I have never eaten them.”

THESE are just a few of the reasons why many refuse to eat vegetables. What about you? Do you eat vegetables daily? Awake! conducted interviews to discover why some people like vegetables and why others do not.

Those who eat vegetables said that their parents had taught them the importance of eating vegetables, legumes, and fruit. In contrast, many who do not like vegetables were not accustomed to eating them as children. Instead, they preferred junk food. Even these, however, agreed that vegetables are important in maintaining good health.

Parents, teach your children to eat vegetables! How? Facts for Life, published by the United Nations Children’s Fund, suggests that at least once a day after breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, babies of about six months should be given vegetables that have been boiled, peeled, and then mashed. The greater the variety of foods, the better for the child. Dr. Vagner Lapate, a Brazilian child specialist, says that while milk is the major food source for the first two years, introducing other foods “encourages the baby to discover new tastes.”

In the book Medicina—Mitos y Verdades (Medicine—Myths and Truths), Carla Leonel suggests that a small amount of orange juice, puree of fruits (such as banana, apple, and papaya), cereal, and vegetable soup can be introduced into the baby’s diet earlier than specified above. Of course, since opinions on this vary, it would be wise for you to consult your pediatrician.