June 17th marked National Eat Your Vegetables Day, so we busted out the Brussel sprouts and munched on some carrots. June is doubly vegetable-loving as it resides as the National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month.
For many, especially younger kids and students, vegetables aren’t exactly top of the list for favorite foods. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, individuals need to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. For most, they don’t reach these recommendations. Additionally, schools suffer excess waste as many students throw away nutritious produce.
National Eat Your Vegetables Day gives parents and schools the opportunity to really highlight the importance of vegetables in a fun and celebratory holiday. Dressing up veggies in a playful way – like making a face out of carrots and peas – can be a helpful way to encourage students to eat, rather than throw away vegetables.
Be experimental with recipes. If kids are hesitant to eat their veggies, sneak it into foods. Cauliflower pizza is a great example of a delicious food almost any kid would love but is also chock-full of healthy nutrients. Speaking of cauliflower, it can be made into mashed potatoes or even brownies. Yes, brownies.
For your school cafeteria, make fruits and vegetables the star. Luckily, produce comes in a variety of vivid colors, use this to your advantage to really make your apples, lettuce, and broccoli stand out. Place the fruits and vegetables center stage and even have students create posters that can be put up around the cafeteria.
National Eat Your Vegetables Day only comes around once a year – make it seem that way. If you missed the opportunity to capitalize on the day this June 17th, don’t forget there’s always next year! Capitalize on National Eat Your Vegetables Day as an opportunity to show that veggies are more than just a side dish, but the main attraction.