“You’re not moving until you eat your veggies!” Sound familiar? A nice, sweet, juicy strawberry is so appealing to a child, yet that same child will usually throw a tantrum the moment you place a vegetable like spinach on their plate. Why is this? Well, it’s probably because the thought of eating something green, tasteless, and even slightly bitter is so mind-boggling that they simply say “no.” How dare you give them something that doesn’t excite their taste buds! This is absolutely normal and is quite common in many households, but without certain foods, children won’t get the correct nutrition that is crucial for growth. How will they obtain the folic acid, vitamin K, magnesium, and beta-carotene they need that is critical for growing children? Are you tired of the kicking, crying, and screaming? If you’re a parent focused on growing your business, you more than likely don’t have time to deal with going back and forth with kids in what I like to call the Battle of the Veggies.
Here are three ways I get my kids to happily eat more veggies.
Blend them into smoothies.
Blending frozen fruits and vegetables is a perfect way to get your little ones to happily eat more fruits and veggies. My favorite blend is spinach and pineapples blended in carrot juice with a little honey and lime. This yummy combination contains vitamin K and calcium from the spinach, vitamin C and magnesium from the pineapple, and beta carotene from the carrot juice. Of course, you can switch it up daily, giving them a different and unique flavor each time you serve them a smoothie.
From strawberries to blueberries, broccoli, and tomatoes, the options are endless when it comes to creating a special blend specific to the needs of that child. Maybe you want your child to eat more beta carotene; then, of course, you’ll ensure that carrots are a part of their blend. Maybe you want to ensure that your child gets more antioxidants. In this case, you’ll add blueberries. Maybe you prefer a plant-based iron and calcium source. Broccoli is a perfect source of calcium and iron.
My all-time favorite blender is the Hamilton Beach Personal Blender. It’s inexpensive and blends extremely well.
Another great option is to use these smoothies to make popsicles. This is an amazing option, as it is not only yummy but natural as well. Popsicles are a less boring way of getting the same nutrition into your little one. It’s fun and refreshing to enjoy an iced cold pop on a hot day. My favorite popsicle maker is the brand sold on Amazon. They’re BPA-free and easy to use. Popsicles are generally considered quite a treat and are well sought after in most households. They’re also the perfect bargaining chip. My kids have often heard me say something like, “If you finish ten pages of your workbook, you can have a popsicle.” There is nothing like a sweet treat. My kids love this option, and I do, too.
Sneak them into sauces.
Sneaking lots of vegetables into the sauces used for spaghetti, pastas, and soups is a great way to get kids to eat more veggies. Instead of sautéing and chopping, why not blend them together and include them in your sauce? Whether it’s mushrooms, green beans, spinach, or Brussels sprouts, this is a sneaky yet effective way of getting your kids to love vegetables. One of my kids’ favorites is spinach sauce. What kid actually asks for spinach, right? Well, mine do. I love to create a spinach pesto with spinach, garlic, onions, salt, pepper, and olive oil before stirring it on the stove top with almond milk, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and a little unbleached flour to thicken the sauce. They love pairing this with chickpea pasta. Of course, you can pair it with any pasta of your choice, though. Another option is to sneak the same sauce into your soups. This helps to thicken the soup, and it’s also much tastier to simmer your ingredients in a savory sauce rather than just water. This flavorful alternative gives their taste buds more flexibility while, at the same time, ensuring they get more veggies in.
Include a dip.
Having a dipping sauce is also a great way to get kids to love veggies; plus, the sauce masks the bitterness of most veggies. Bottled salad dressings like ranch, Caesar, and Thousand Island make great dips. Some kids love pairing their veggies with weird dips, like ketchup and barbeque sauce—but hey, if this works for you, awesome. You may even want to create your own dip. A little mayonnaise, sour cream, and some herbs can go a long way. Maybe you can create a yummy dip recipe made from cream cheese or unsweetened yogurt. I try to stick to foods that are alkaline, so a great dip alternative for me is to season a healthy oil. Coconut oil seasoned with garlic salt, pepper, and a little basil and parsley makes a great dip if your kid’s taste buds are mature enough to appreciate the slightly bitter, salty flavors. Almond butter or peanut butter are also great choices when finding a dip to pair with celery or even apple slices. Slice your veggies into bite-sized pieces, present them on a plate with your dip of choice, and eat up!
In conclusion, these are three ways kids can get more veggies in. Vegetables are vital for growth and building a healthy immune system. Smoothies, popsicles, sauces, soups, and dips are lifesavers when it comes to this mission. Give your kids these alternatives and watch the difference. No more screaming and crying at the dining room table—they’ll ask for veggies! These options helped me, and I hope they help you!
Hamilton Beach Personal Blender: https://amzn.to/3iK2rVL
Popsicle Maker: https://amzn.to/3kR2RMR
Frozen Fruit Smoothie Mix: https://amzn.to/3kR2RMR