Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting my kids to eat veggies.

I have an adorable Step-Daughter who is 7 and a spunky little girl that is 6. They eat veggies everyday. They don't particularly know it but, they do. I have 4 methods to get them to eat veggies:

1) Hide them!
2) Make them taste good.
3) Let them help shop for them or grow them.
4) Let them cook them.

No. 1... You can hide anything in Spaghetti Sauce. I used to do this to my first husband. He refused to eat vegetables. You can grind them up or shred them. My personal favorites are of course the run of the mill onions, peppers, garlic, grated carrots, spinach. You can also grind up stuff like zucchini and mushrooms (great for fiber). If you do this, put it in a crockpot and let it cook for 4-6 hours it will all meld together and no one will be the wiser.

No. 2... Make them taste good. This is the obvious answer. If you put a pile of steamed broccoli in front of them, they might not go for it. If you take broccoli cut up small and add it to rice, cheddar cheese, a little cream and some salt/fav spices like garlic powder top with some cracker crumbs and pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes you have a cheesy broccoli rice casserole they will love.

I heard Jenny Garth say the other day that she makes a deal with her kids, "You can dip it in anything as long as you'll eat it." That includes peanut butter, ranch, hummus, ketchup. I kind of think that's a cute idea.

(Picture - Alexus, Alivia and Saleen enjoying a plate of veggies dipped in ranch and hummus. Some we grew, some we bought at the Farmer's Market.)

One of our other favorite things to do is make Artichoke Spinach Dip. We just go heavy handed on the artichoke and spinach and a little easier on the cream cheese/mayo/parm combo. They love it. Sometimes we will add some chicken and make it into a hot chicken salad over french bread. Oh Chicken Salad... fruits and veggies are hidden in that, easily! Never miss an opportunity to grate veggies into something.

No. 3.... Take them to the Farmer's Market. They can pick out anything as long as they will try it. There can be some really pretty things there. The pattypan squash is always so pretty and interesting.

My girls loved shopping for seeds of things we're going to plant next year. They love looking at the books with me, planning our garden plot. We've only harvest 1 tomato so far but we carried it in with such pride and enjoyed every bite. This year we planted some Nastursium in their garden plot and they have eaten them even just chopped up in cream cheese as a dip.

No. 4... Let them help you cook it. One day bought some Zucchini and brought it home one day. My youngest who automatically announces "I don't like (fill in the blank)" helped me make it into zucchini boats filled with hamburger, chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, cottage cheese and topped with parmesan cheese. She tasted it every step of the way, she was my kings taster for spices/salt. When I put them on the table she was so proud, she gobbled it up announcing, "This is so yummy! I made it!"

Getting your kids to eat veggies... Fun (because they never know it most of the time), creative, fulfilling and really not that hard.

1 comment:

  1. You can also hide veggies in chili. I also always add veggies to noodles to get them to eat them. And home grown veggies will always get eaten because I have the kids help out. I think they appreciate them more too.