From The Nutritionist

Trish Zecca
Author:
Trish Zecca, MS

More Please!

As parents, we often worry that our kids (of all ages) aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables—and for good reason. These nutrient-dense foods are chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as health-promoting phytonutrients. But unfortunately, American children are eating fewer vegetables and fruits than the Dietary Guidelines recommends.1

If your kids aren’t getting enough, September is Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month, the perfect time to focus on these two nutritious and delicious food groups! If you’re thinking, it’s a chore to get my kids to eat vegetables and fruits, don’t worry. It can take 8-10 tries before a child will accept a new food.2 With a little effort and creativity, before you know it they’ll be saying, “More, please!”

One of the best strategies I have found is to involve your kids in the meal preparation and give them options. We make homemade pizza fairly often at our house and all hands are on deck to help. Together we select a variety of toppings including lots of veggies and different low-fat cheeses, then the kids build their own pizza. On the occasion pictured here, my 12 year old son’s picks were roasted corn, caramelized onions and sautéed greens with a little Monterey jack and cheddar cheese—delicious! Who would believe me if I didn’t have proof?


My 12 year old son’s picks were roasted corn, caramelized onions and sautéed greens with a little Monterey jack and cheddar cheese—delicious!

If your kids are picky when it comes to eating fruits and veggies, here are some other simple strategies to help change their tune (P.S. These work well with my husband too!):

  • Let them shop. Let your child select a new vegetable or fruit at the grocery store or farmers’ market to try. They’ll be more likely to eat something they picked out!
  • Get them cooking. The same goes here, if children help make the food, they’re more willing to try it. So pick out a recipe with veggies or fruits and let them take ownership of washing the produce, measuring the ingredients, stirring—whatever is appropriate for their age.
  • Serve it first. Offer a new veggie or fruit as an appetizer or at the beginning of the meal, when kids are most hungry.
  • Make it familiar. Pair a new fruit or veggie with favorite or familiar foods to increase acceptance.
  • Make it fun. For young children cut up a colorful variety of vegetables and arrange them in smiley faces or animal shapes. Serve hummus or low-fat dressing on the side as a fun dip.
  • Cook, serve, repeat. Expose kids to a variety of vegetables and fruits, cooked or prepared in different ways, and serve them more than one time. A cooked veggie disliked today may be their favorite raw veggie next month.
  • Be a role model. Try new foods with your kids, as they will be less likely to try or eat something you won’t.

Word of the wise. Often when trying to encourage our kids to eat right, we don’t realize how much our words impact their eating behavior. For example, if kids are told they aren’t allowed to have dessert if they don’t eat their vegetables, they’ll associate vegetables with a potentially negative outcome. Keep the conversation positive and verbally praise efforts to even taste or try new foods. Check out other ways you can transform negative phrases into positive ones here.

Closing the gap. Campbell offers hundreds of products that can help you and your family get more vegetable and/or fruit servings. Try some of these delicious options…they are great timesavers as well!

  • Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato soup – Classic, convenient, and healthy, this soup provides ¾ cup vegetables per serving. Perfect side to a simple sandwich.
  • V8® Low Sodium Spicy Hot 100% Vegetable juice - Packs just the right amount of heat and is delicious enjoyed by itself, used as a base for stews or transformed into an adult Bloody Mary!
  • Bolthouse Farms® Kids Veggie Snackers – Kids (and adults) will love these single serve packs of carrots. Pull and shake to release the seasoning for a quick, delicious on-the-go snack.
  • Bolthouse Farms® dressings are perfect for dipping vegetables.
  • V8 V-Fusion ® juice drink boxes – Available in Fruit Punch, Berry, Grape, and Apple, each 6.75-ounce box provides a combined serving of fruits and vegetables. Pack them in lunches or turn them into popsicles!
  • From Plum Organics® Second Blends Spinach, Peas & Pear baby food, to Fruit & Veggie Mashups for kids, Plum Organics offers a variety of products that exposes your little ones to veggies and fruits at a young age.

For more information on fruits, veggies, and ways to get the kids involved, visit the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® website.

Remember, more matters!

Trish

Trish's Bio:
Trish is Senior Program Manager of Health Sciences and Regulatory Affairs where she manages nutrition operations and communications. She is the lead nutritionist for Soup & Simple Meals and directs communications for campbellnutrition.com, health professional conferences and stakeholder engagement. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. Trish has more than 20 years of experience in various areas of public health and the food industry. Her expertise includes USDA regulation, nutrition education, training, and communications.


References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf. Accessed July 15, 2014.
  2. Birch LL: Children’s food acceptance patterns. Annales Nestlé 1998;56:1–10.


Upcoming Events

 

What's in my Food? >

We are proud of the food we make but know you may have questions about the ingredients we use. Here we try to answer them.

Product Nutrition Finder >

Search for products by selecting criteria based on your specific nutrition and dietary needs, food components and Campbell brands.

Campbell's® Sauces >

Planning, prepping, cooking, getting everyone to the table – it isn’t always easy, but Campbell’s® Sauces can help.

 
CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

CLOSE

Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.