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Nutrition Assessment for Infants and Toddlers

Many children (and adults for that matter) do not eat the recommended number of servings of vegetables each day. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for broccoli during a children's (or adult) television show? To ensure that children do eat their vegetables, it is best for parents to set a good example and use creativity in preparing the vegetables. Vegetables can be served with sauces and dips, and blended into other foods (pizza, spaghetti sauce, casseroles).

Suggestions for young children include: sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, and potatoes. Preschool age children may also enjoy cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, other greens, bell peppers, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, corn on the cob, and asparagus.

Before serving vegetables to toddlers, they should be well cooked because raw vegetables are hard to chew and are a choking hazard. Small round pieces are especially dangerous because of the choking possibility, so mash cooked peas and cut cooked carrots lengthwise in halves or quarters before serving. Do not give toddlers whole cherry tomatoes, as they can be a choking hazard.

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