We are always talking about vegetables. How to get our kids to eat them more often? How to sneak them into our day? How to make them more delicious? Here are a few quick and easy tricks to get your kids to eat more veggies and you just might join them, too.
1. Add vegetables to breakfast.
If you’re making eggs, make a vegetable omelet. This is super easy. You can use spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions or any other veggie your family loves. Just toss the veggies in the pan with a little olive oil to cook or heat up first, then add the eggs. You will barely notice the veggies (although they are quite delicious!) and it’s a simple way to get another serving in for the day.
Chop up some celery, carrots, cucumber, peppers, broccoli or whatever else you and your kids enjoy. Toss the veggies on a plate and put a bowl of dip like taziki or hummus in the middle just before the kids get home from school. Kids are always hungry when they walk in the door and a veggie platter is irresistible for almost anyone. It’s easy to graze from the plate as you please. Don’t be surprised if the veggies disappear and you find yourself chopping up more!
3. Serve veggies before the rest of dinner.
This is a tactic for those kids who tend to eat the main part of the meal first and ignore the vegetables. Call the kids to the table when the veggies are ready, but the rest of the meal is not. Have their plates loaded with large portions of the veggies. Don’t be afraid to serve two or more veggies at the meal. Tell them that only part of dinner is ready, but they can go ahead and get started. You are serving them the veggies only when they are the most hungry. They are more likely to dig right in and get filled up on the veggies because the other stuff just isn’t there yet. When they are done with the veggies, or nearly done, then serve the burgers or pasta or whatever else you have prepared. This works far better than promising some sort of treat or insisting on a clean plate.
4. Allow unlimited snacking on veggies of their choice.
You can’t overdo vegetables. Raw or steamed vegetables without sauces are one of the best sources of nutrition. Anytime your kids are hungry, tell them they may have any vegetable of their choice. This option should always be open to them, anytime of day or night. If you would serve it with the meal, then it shouldn’t make a difference if they eat it before or after a meal.
5. Don’t eat disgusting vegetables.
This may sound obvious, but if it doesn’t taste good, don’t eat it. Vegetables are supposed to taste good. If you are eating something that tastes awful, you haven’t prepared it correctly. Look for great recipes and keep working to find ways to prepare your vegetables that make you and your family happy to eat them. Fresh spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil is amazingly delicious. Canned spinach dumped in a pot is gross.
Adding more vegetables into your life doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. It really can be quite simple. Just try to find ways to insert them here and there. Serve them when you and the kids are really hungry and never serve them in a manner that is unpleasant. You’ll enjoy a healthier lifestyle and set your kids up with a better diet for life!
How do you get your daily dose of vegetables? Do you ever struggle to fit veggies into your lifestyle?