Staying Positive Provides Health Benefits

Importance of Staying Positive

Adult Health Bulletin

Did you know there are actually health benefits to positive thinking? According to research, people have fewer physical complaints if they think positively and reflect on things they are grateful for at least once a week. Staying positive is an important part of mental health.

health benefits from positive thinking

Staying Positive

When you are positive, it does not mean that you should ignore challenges or tough times, rather positive thinking is trying to see the bright side as much as possible. It may take some time and practice to start thinking more positively. Try these tips for living a more positive life:

  • Write down dreams and goals. One way to stay positive is to write down your goals and dreams for the future. By writing them down, you are actually setting the groundwork for reaching your goal. Be detailed about what you want and how you think you can reach that dream or goal.
  • Say thank you. Being thankful and expressing gratitude is an important part of staying positive. You can do this in many ways, such as keeping a journal of things you are grateful for, writing a letter to someone who made a difference in your life, and making an effort to say “thank you” to all people who helped you throughout the week.
  • Avoid worrying. For some people, worrying is part of everyday life. Instead of worrying, try to find a way to solve the problem you are facing. You may also try to distract yourself from worrying if it is something beyond your control.

healthy lifestyle

  • Watch out for all-or-nothing thinking. Remember that if something does not go the way you think it should go, it does not mean that it will always be that way. That one time was that one time. Take steps to have a different outcome if it is something that you can control.
  • Slow down. Sometimes, when things are moving too fast, we get stressed. Lots of stress can lead to negative thinking. If you are feeling stressed — whether that is happening while talking, eating, or even rushing around to get something done — take the time slow down. Slowing down will allow you to think clearly about what you need to do.
  • Eat well and stay active. Did you know that eating unhealthy food and not being active can actually make you feel worse? On the other hand, eating healthy foods and staying active on a regular basis helps improve your mood and general health.

stay positive and eat healthy

It can be hard to develop healthy habits like staying positive. Try some of these different ways to stay positive and see how much better you will feel!

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from Mental Health America.

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Tips for Healthier Tailgating

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the Fall 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

oldham county fall news

Healthier Tailgating

Football season is here! Across the state, many Kentuckians will mark the season by getting out their tastiest tailgating recipes and firing up the grill. Unfortunately, some tailgating favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and potato chips can cause you to pack on the pounds while cheering for your team. Consider the tips below to help you make healthier choices this season.

  • Include vegetables in the game plan. Cut them up and serve them with a low-fat dip or hummus. You can also grill them and serve as a side to your main course.
  • Grill leaner meats like ground turkey, pork or chicken breasts for main courses.
  • Choose water whenever possible. Alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages contain a lot of calories and won’t quench your thirst on those hot weekends that are typical of late summer and early fall.
  • Substitute fresh salsa and either pita bread or baked chips for nachos and cheese. Below is a Plate It Up recipe for a healthier salsa option.
  • Use lean beef or ground turkey to make chili.
  • Serve a fruit-based dessert like fruit kabobs or fruit salad.

More healthy recipes and ideas that use local ingredients are available through Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud, a partnership of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture. They are available online or by contacting the Oldham County Extension office.

healthy recipes

Cucumber, Corn and Bean Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole kernel corn, cooked
  • 1 ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, optional

Yield: Makes 20, ½-cup servings

Directions: Wash all vegetables. Finely chop cucumbers, tomatoes, pepper, and onion. Combine in a large mixing bowl with chopped cilantro. Drain and rinse beans and add to chopped vegetables. Add corn. If using canned corn instead of fresh, drain off liquid prior to adding to vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing packet, vinegar, and sugar. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled.

Nutritional Analysis: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 130 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 70% Daily Value of Vitamin C, 6% Daily Value of Vitamin A

Written by Janet Mullins, University of Kentucky Extension Professor. Edited by Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Tips for Getting (and Staying) Healthy

healthy lifestyle

Create & Keep a New Healthy Habit

Adult Health Bulletin

Habits can be good or they can be not-so-good. Have you ever tried to change one of your not-so-good habits, only to go back to your usual routine? It can be hard to keep up the motivation for a change in behavior.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are trying to create and keep a new, healthy habit.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #1

It does not have to be “all or nothing.” Many times when we start to change a behavior, we tend to think that we need to be perfect 100 percent, with no slip-ups. Staying motivated at that pace is hard, especially if you are trying to change too many things at once. Instead, start small. If you want to start walking, find a time for just 10 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. If you want to start eating healthier, choose one meal a day to start. Pack a healthy lunch from home instead of getting lunch from a fast food place.

Just remember that you do not have to do everything all at once.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #2

Be creative. It can be hard to find the time to make healthy habits. If you get creative, you may be able to get a little “extra” accomplished. Instead of looking for the best parking spot, park in the back of the lot and walk, or take the stairs rather than the elevator. If focusing on making healthy food choices, pack your favorite fruit as a treat for that midday slump, or add green vegetables to a smoothie. These little boosts will help you reach your goal.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #3

Be patient with yourself. Creating and sticking with a new health habit is hard. And remember that it can take time to see results when making a change. You could write down your actions and keep track of successes and areas for improvement. Don’t forget to celebrate the successes that you have. Small successes can add up to big changes!

happy healthy lifestyle

Changing habits is very difficult. When trying to create and keep a new health habit, think about starting small to achieve your goals, be creative in changing your habits, and be patient with yourself as you strive to develop a healthier lifestyle.

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Mayo Clinic.

Broccoli a Great, Nutritious Option at Farmer’s Market

The following Family and Consumer Science article printed in the June 22, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

Farmers Market Broccoli

With June comes the start of summer and an abundance of fresh produce available at farmers markets across Oldham County. One in-season produce offering that you may not necessarily associate with late spring and early summer is broccoli.

Broccoli actually has two growing seasons in Kentucky. Kentucky growers began harvesting their first crop in May and will continue to harvest through early July. The second season ends with a harvest in the late fall.

You can steam, boil and microwave broccoli – or even enjoy it raw. As you will see in the Plate It up! Kentucky Proud recipe that follows, it can give a flavorful and healthy twist to popular summer dishes.

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables that you can eat. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folic acid and phytochemicals. Due to their high antioxidant levels, researchers recommend you consume several servings of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) several times a week. A diet high in antioxidants can reduce your risk of developing some forms of cancer as well as heart disease.

When shopping at the market, choose broccoli that has tender, young, dark-green stalks with tightly closed buds. If you purchase about one and one-half pounds of broccoli, you’ll get four, one-half cup servings. Store broccoli, unwashed, in the refrigerator for no more than three to five days in a perforated plastic bag. Wash just before preparing to maintain its texture and prevent mold from forming.

Contact the Oldham County Extension office for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce and local farmers market offerings. Find Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud recipes online, or contact the extension office for recipe cards.

healthy broccoli recipe

Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad

Healthy Recipe

Broccoli Salad Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup diced pecans
  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta (bow tie or other)
  • 5 slices turkey bacon
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

healthy broccoli grapes recipe

Broccoli Salad Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for five to seven minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Prepare eight ounces of pasta according to package directions.
  3. Cook bacon according to package directions. Cool and crumble into small pieces.
  4. Cut the broccoli florets from the stems and separate florets into small pieces using the tip of a paring knife.
  5. Slice two cups of grapes into halves.
  6. Whisk together mayonnaise, honey, diced red onion and vinegar in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add broccoli, cooked pasta and grapes; stir to coat.
  8. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Stir in bacon crumbles and diced pecans, just before serving.

Nutritional Analysis: 160 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 4 g protein.

Yield: 16, 1/2-cup servings

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status or physical or mental disability.

Written by Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Assistant Extension Professor. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

At the Farmers Market: Asparagus

The following Family and Consumer Science article printed in the May 4, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

Farmers Market Asparagus

Oldham County farmers markets are opening for the 2017 season. Asparagus is one of the early-season crops many of our local vendors will have available.

Harvested during April and May in Kentucky, asparagus is a nutrient-dense vegetable that you can eat raw, lightly boiled, steamed, stir-fried or grilled. It can be seasoned with herbs, butter, or Parmesan cheese to enhance its flavor. As you will see in the Plate It Up Kentucky Proud recipe below, it can also be an integral ingredient in many dishes.

Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. A half-cup serving of fresh asparagus (about six stalks) contains 22 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 4 grams of carbohydrates.

When shopping for asparagus at the market, look for bright green stalks with tightly closed tips. The most tender ones are apple green in color with purple-tinged tips. A pound of asparagus will make four, one-half cup servings. It will keep a week or two in the refrigerator when kept upright with cut ends resting in water. You can also store asparagus in the refrigerator with cut ends wrapped in wet paper towels inside a plastic bag.

Contact Chris Duncan, Oldham County Family and Consumer Science Agent, at (502) 222-9453 or crivera@uky.edu for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce. On the Oldham County Extension website, you can find more healthy recipes or find a market near you.

healthy asparagus recipe

Asparagus Ham Quiche

Healthy Recipe

Yield: 16 slices

Asparagus Ham Quiche Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped ham
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 2 (8-inch) unbaked pie shells
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 container (5.3 ounces) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Asparagus Ham Quiche Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about four to six minutes. Drain and cool.

Place ham and onion in a nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Brush pie shells with beaten egg white. Spoon the ham, onion and asparagus into pie shells, dividing evenly between the two shells. Sprinkle one cup shredded cheese over the mixture in each shell.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, yogurt, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the top of the cheese, dividing evenly between the two shells.

Bake uncovered in a 400-degree preheated oven until firm 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool approximately 20 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Analysis: 200 calories, 11 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 10 g protein

healthy asparagus recipe

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Assistant Extension Professor in Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Summer 2017 FCS Events

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources calendar printed in the Summer 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

All activities are held at the Oldham County Extension office unless otherwise noted.

June FCS Calendar

5 Homemaker Executive Board, 9:30 a.m.
8 Canning Boot Camp, 6:30 p.m.
9 Canning Boot Camp, 10:00 a.m.
13 FCS Council, 10:00 a.m.
16 Homemakers Club Reports due to Extension Office
21 Dare to Care Cooking & Nutrition Class, La Grange Community Center, 1:00 p.m.
30 Homemaker Volunteer Hours due to Extension Office

July FCS Calendar

4 Office closed for Independence Day
10-12 Kids Cooking Camp
19 Wednesday Quilters, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
19 Dare to Care Cooking & Nutrition Class, La Grange Community Center, 1:00 p.m.
24 County Fair Entry Day (Non-Perishables), 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
25 County Fair Entry Day (Non-Perishables), 9:00 a.m. – noon
31 County Fair Entry Day (Culinary), 9:00 a.m. – noon

August FCS Calendar

1-5 Oldham County Fair
6 County Fair Entry Check Out, Oldham County Fairgrounds, noon – 2:00 p.m.
8 Extension Foundation, 9:00 a.m.
16 Dare to Care Cooking & Nutrition Class, La Grange Community Center, 1:00 p.m.
TBA Homemakers Council

Drink Up For Good Health

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the Summer 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter and in the March 7, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

Drink Up For Good Health

We should drink water for good health, but some of us may not know why it is so important.

More than two-thirds of our bodies are made of water. It helps lubricate our joints, and without water, our organs could not properly function. Water is also essential in helping us remove waste from our bodies.

If you don’t consume enough water, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, fever, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and kidney problems among others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests adults consume between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water each day on average. Individuals who choose water when they are thirsty and at meal time usually have no problem drinking enough daily. Water may also be consumed through healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your daily intake amount can fluctuate depending upon your weight, age, sex, activity level, and certain medical conditions. You will also need to consume more water if you are in a hot climate, are physically active, running a fever, or losing fluids through vomiting and/or diarrhea.

drink more water

Below are some suggestions on how to increase your and your family’s fluid intake.

  • Keep a bottle of water with you.
  • Eat more foods with high water content like fruit and vegetables.
  • Add fruit to water for flavor.
  • Give children water when they are thirsty.
  • Choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages when eating out. Not only will you consume fewer calories, but water is free in most restaurants.

Check out this Kentucky Proud Strawberry Green Tea recipe that could help you increase water intake.

KY Proud Strawberry Green Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 13 cups water
  • 13 green tea bags, regular size
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 lemon, optional
  • Yield: 16, 8 ounce servings

    strawberry green tea recipe

    Directions: Wash strawberries and remove the tops. Chop the berries with a hand chopper in a large pot. Add water to the chopped berries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for five minutes. Add tea bags and submerge. Steep tea for two to three minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander into a one gallon pitcher. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Chill and serve. Garnish with a lemon slice or fresh strawberry if desired.

    Nutritional Analysis: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 0 g protein, 30% Daily Value of vitamin C

    Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, University of Kentucky Extension Specialist in Food Nutrition

    Healthy Lettuce Tacos Recipe

    The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the Summer 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

    Lean Green Lettuce Tacos Recipe

    healthy lettuce taco recipe

    Ingredients:

  • 8 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 ounce packet low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 4 ounces low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • Yield: 8 servings

    Directions:

    Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Prepare rice according package directions. Cut corn off cob. Drain and rinse black beans. In a skillet, heat the oil to medium; add ground beef and begin to cook. When beef begins to brown, add zucchini, corn and black beans to skillet. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender and beef is done. Do not overcook. Add in taco seasoning and tomato sauce and heat through. Add cilantro and lime juice to the cooked rice. Place equal amounts of rice mixture and taco mixture into lettuce leaves. Top each taco with chopped tomato and onion.

    Nutritional Analysis: 180 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 12 g protein

    Source: Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud, University of Kentucky Extension

    Youth Heart Disease Information

    youth heart disease info

    Heart Disease

    Youth Health Bulletin

    Have you ever heard that someone you know has heart disease? It is a very common illness, and in fact, more than 60 million Americans have it. Wally Cat wants to make sure you know what heart disease is and how you can take care of your heart.

    What is Heart Disease?

    Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease. As you may have guessed, a person who has heart disease has problems with their heart and blood vessels — they are not working the way they should.

    There are many problems that people with heart disease have, such as high blood pressure and chest pains. People with heart disease are also more likely to have heart attacks and strokes. A heart attack is when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This means that the heart is not getting the blood that is needed for it to work properly. A stroke is when a place in the brain is not getting enough blood.

    Other Problems for People With Heart Disease

    • The arteries get hard, making it more difficult to move blood through the body.
    • An area of fat and cholesterol builds up, making the passageway for blood narrower. This makes it harder for blood to get to the body.

    Can You Catch Heart Disease?

    Heart disease is not an illness that is spreads by germs like a cold! There are risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of getting heart disease. Some of the risk factors cannot be controlled, such as getting older and having other people in the family with the disease. There are some risk factors that can be controlled, such as smoking, having high blood pressure, being overweight, or not exercising enough.

    How Do You Prevent Heart Disease?

    There are ways you can start to prevent heart disease even at your age. You can watch out for some of the risk factors like high blood pressure, obesity, and physical inactivity. As a child, you can watch what you eat and how much you are active.

    youth heart disease information

    Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables — and if they are fresh, even better! Also, you should try to be as active as you can. Throughout the day, you should be active for at least an hour. You also want to be aware of how much time you are sitting in front of a screen, whether it is the TV, computer, tablet, or phone. This type of activity has little to no physical activity.

    Fun ways to be physically active include:

    • Riding your bike. You might be able to go for a bike ride in your neighborhood or at a nearby park.
    • Swimming. Join a swim team through your school or community. The Oldham County YMCA has an indoor pool so you can stay active even during winter.
    • Walking your dog. Physical activity is good for you and Fido too!

    Wally Cat wants you to know about heart disease because it affects so many people. He also wants you to start good habits to protect your heart, such as eating healthy and staying active.

    Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Centers for Disease Control. Wally Cat illustrations by Chris Ware (© University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences).

    Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

    get kids to eat veggies

    Getting Children to Eat Their Veggies

    Do you hear “I don’t like vegetables!” during family dinner? According to research from the American Academy for Science and the Centers for Disease Control, children turn up their noses at vegetables because parents have not made them readily available. Let’s face it, few children will take the time to wash a head of broccoli or cauliflower, break the pieces apart, serve them up on a plate, and then eat them.

    Parents can increase the chances that their children will eat a particular vegetable if it is in a small container or individual plastic bag in the refrigerator. This makes vegetables an easy snack option for children to choose themselves.

    get kids eating veggies

    Children form food habits at an early age. Research shows a correlation between picky children and picky adults. It is important for parents to introduce good eating habits in children when they are young. It is, however, never too late to start.

    Tips to Get Children to Eat Vegetables

    Be a role model. Offer vegetables to children by eating them yourself. Let children approach them on their own.

    Set some rules. Children usually will accept vegetables in an environment where parents set appropriate rules. For example, it is okay to tell your child they need to taste a vegetable before they decide they do not like it.

    Stay positive. Using strategies such as punishment, threats, force, or even offering the child a reward have been shown to be unsuccessful ways of teaching children to eat vegetables. Vegetables should be offered in a relaxed environment.

    Don’t give up. Keep offering the vegetables. It might be helpful to offer the vegetable to the child in different ways or mixing the vegetable with other foods. Many parents throw in the towel after the child refuses a vegetable the first time, but understand that children generally have a fear of new foods. It may take about eight to ten tries with a vegetable before your child is ready to taste it. In addition, it may take a lot more tasting before your child gets to the point where he or she likes the vegetable. Be patient as your child experiences new foods.

    Be creative. Offer children vegetables in different forms (cooked, raw, and mixed with other foods) before you decide they do not like them.

    Be flexible. Children vary in how much they eat and what they like. Each child is an individual. Do not have predetermined ways in which your child should eat or accept vegetables.

    Be reasonable. Keep in mind that vegetable servings for children are smaller than vegetable servings for adults. A general guideline is one tablespoon of vegetable for each year of life. Do not have unrealistic expectations for your child.

    Give options. Offer a variety of vegetables at a particular meal. This allows children to be able to choose a vegetable they like.

    get your children to get their vegetables

    Take Action: Make it Happen

    Vegetables offers protection from many diseases, and thanks to the vitamins and minerals they provide, improves your child’s health. It is important for children to eat the recommended amount of vegetables daily.

    Parents, try these tricks to make vegetables more enticing to your children:

    • Offer vegetables daily. Children will not eat vegetables if parents do not cook and serve them.
    • Let children pick out a vegetable of the week at the grocery store.
    • Make vegetables easy for children to grab and eat. Have ready to eat vegetable snacks in small bags in the refrigerator.
    • Set out a plate of vegetables with dip before dinner or when children get home from school.
    • Prepare vegetables in a way in which they are tender but crisp. Children tend to dislike mushy vegetables and many prefer raw vegetables for this reason.
    • Include two vegetables at dinner; try offering both cooked and raw vegetables. This allows children to have a choice of vegetable they want to eat.
    • Add lettuce leaves to sandwiches.
    • Add blended vegetables such as spinach to spaghetti sauce, soups, and casserole. It is a good idea to blend or cut up the vegetable finely before adding it to spaghetti sauce. Children may not even notice the vegetable is there.
    • Make food fun. Let children create funny faces or animals with cut up vegetables.
    • Let children help prepare vegetable recipes; they generally enjoy what they have made.
    • Allow kids to make their own salad. Put out small bowls of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded leaf lettuce, raisins, fruit, and crunch noodles. They love the feeling of control that comes from doing it themselves.
    • Try heirloom vegetables. Kids get excited about interesting vegetables. Take your children to a farmer’s market and have them pick out the heirlooms they would like to try.

    getting kids to eat veggies

    Written by Ingrid Adams, Nutrition and Food Science Extension Specialist; Mallory Foster, Family and Consumer Sciences graduate student; and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.