February 16, 2011Getting Your Veggies
Getting everyone in your family to eat a plate full of veggies may seem like a daunting task if it hasn’t been your lifestyle. Eating vegetables as a family while your kids are still young is the best way to encourage good lifelong habits.
But if you’re trying to inspire your family after years of being veggie-less, don’t despair. Follow these tips and enjoy the transformation to hungry herbivores!
1st Be a Role model
The best way to encourage your kids to do anything is to lead by example. Look at your own habits first and make sure they’re witnessing you grazing on the right things.
2nd Start a Garden
You don’t have to go all out and plow your backyard for a large garden. Work on small plots or even in a few large containers. Choose plants that produce a big yield; green beans, zucchini, lettuce, kale, and tomatoes are great to start with. Encourage your child to play an active role in the gardening process. Let them pick out seeds, water, and harvest. They will develop pride in the food they’ve grown and will be excited to make it into a meal!
3rd Experiment with Cooking
Vegetables taste different depending on how they are prepared: raw, steamed, sautéed, baked, or grilled. Experiment with cooking in various ways to see if there is one your child prefers. Great options include pureeing them in soup, baking, and adding juiced veggies to smoothies.
4th Dip ‘em
Kids love to be in charge of their food. Dipping is one way to let them have a little independence. Offer vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, and carrots that are raw or steamed. Great dips like hummus, peanut or almond butter, tahini, vegan yogurt, or pureed tofu with olive oil and herbs have loads of flavor.
5th Dice ‘em
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, than that food processor in your cabinet may become your secret weapon to sneak in important veggies. Add finely chopped vegetables to anything you can think of: spaghetti sauce, muffins, and soups are just a few common examples.
If you’ve started at the top of the list and made an effort to encourage an appreciation for pure foods this method is okay. But remember that you are encouraging lifelong habits… sneaking in veggies may not show your child how wonderful they can be.
Posted by The Sara Snow Team at 6:30 AM