By Imelda Castro-Rivero, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur
Vegetables, like fruits, are rich in vitamins A, C, iron, folate and potassium. They are low in fats and rich in fiber, according to the Food Guide Pyramid of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology.
This food pyramid, the Ilocos Sur Nutrition Office shared, tells that one must eat three to five servings of vegetables each day. This is equivalent to one and a half cups of cooked veggies daily.
Vegetables can be slowly introduced into the diet of children who are used to eating mostly pork or chicken. Parents, and adults in the family, must help the children like veggies to keep them away from lifestyle diseases.
The National Nutrition Council has prepared some tips that may help parents and guardians guide their children into liking veggies, said Amparo Javillonar, the provincial nutrition officer.
First is to buy veggies that are in season. They are cheap, fresh and loaded with nutrients. Plan to cook varied foods each day to make them attractive.
Try crispy carrots, cucumber, lettuce that are eaten raw or steamed. Plan preparing food based on the main vegetable dish. One example is the pinakbet served with fried or adobo fish.
When cooking soups use pureed or cooked veggies like potatoes, kamote or squash. Prepare veggies in varied cooking types. Avoid cooking the veggies in the same recipes. Other veggies can be roasted, baked, fried, steamed or sauted. \
Veggies like carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, green pepper and other are more delicious with dips or low-fat dressing or French dressing composed of vinegar, salt, sugar and black pepper.
Use veggies in decorating food such as slices of kamote, singkamas, carrots, celery, beans and others. To add nutrients to instant noodles, add malunggay, kangkong, onion leaves, kinchay, or carrots. #