Eat More Vegetables

Eat More Vegetables

Parents know that it’s important for children to eat their vegetables, but getting them to actually do so can be a challenge. Perhaps because vegetables come in many diff

erent textures, sizes, shapes, flavors and colors which can be a bit intimidating for kids.  I remember when my children were toddlers.  All three were finicky eaters.  To get them to eat green peas, green beans, carrots, or any other vegetable baby food I had to be creative.  So we played “airplanes” a lot.  I’m sure you can relate.

I would dip the spoon in the jar of vegetable baby food first and next the jar of pears or peaches. Then whirl the spoon in the air circling up then down and all around sounding like an airplane making the grand finale BIG so I could land the plane in my child’s mouth.  Sounds pretty silly now, but all I can say is that it worked!  I guess the sweetness of the fruit made them okay with the vegetables.  Oh! And I’m sure the plane helped.  I did get a few giggles too which made it all worth it.  This was the only way to get them to eat vegetables.  Not to worry though.  Here are five great tips and tricks to help you get those nutritious veggies into your child’s diet – all in a Fun Way.

Five Easy Ways to Get Your Child to Eat More Vegetables

  1. Make a Smoothie. Smoothies are an excellent way to add in more vegetables, especially for kids who do not find them that appealing. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, celery, carrots, and cucumbers will easily spruce up their smoothie with nutrients that are good for their body.  A few good combinations are celery, apple, and pineapple and spinach, banana, and mango.
  2. Make food fun. Kids love to play make believe. They also love games. Relating healthy food to fun things the child already loves and turning it into a game is a great way to get a few bites of greens down the hatch. Calling broccoli “trees” or cauliflower “brains” or “sheep” can make them much less intimidating. Also, making food mini-sized can make it more kid-friendly. The idea is to be creative.
  3. Be a Veggie Role Model. It’s hard to convince a child to eat Spinach or Asparagus if they don’t see you eating it. So eat veggies yourself, and make sure your child is watching.  If you’re not a big vegetable fan, then have Grandma or the sitter take on the role of veggie booster. Sometimes kids will listen to other people more than they’ll listen to mom and dad.  But mom and dad eat your veggies too.
  4. Serve Veggies and Dip. Creating a delicious dip is an easy way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Whether it’s a cool ranch recipe, a Mexican dip, or plain hummus – the right dip will do wonders in getting your child to eat more vegetables.  But don’t blow the experience with high calorie dips.  Read the label and make a move towards low calorie dips.  Homemade dip recipes are the best.
  5. Plant a Garden. Many schools today have a gardening program because it offers lots of fun and movement while providing important educational tools that help students understand how healthy food is produced.What better way to support this model than to have a home garden where children can have a “dirt-to-table” experience. When children take part in growing their own vegetables, harvesting them, and then watching them be added in a meal to be placed on the dinner table, something magical happens. Gardening tends to have a healthy impact on children who take part in cultivating a healthy environment.  Start small with only a few simple vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and carrots and grow your vegetable garden from there.


Fun Smoothie Recipes for Kids

Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 granny smith apple (cored and sliced)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup fresh pineapples
  • 2 cups ice or 1 cup water

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

Apple Carrot Celery

  • 2 Carrots (cut)
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 1 Apple
  • 2 Celery sticks
  • 2 cups ice or 1 cup water

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

Beet Blueberry Kale

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ of a beet
  • 1 banana
  • 1 leaf kale
  • 1 cup water

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

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