Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

As moms we’ve all been there. Dishing up our kids’ plates for dinner, putting those bright green broccoli florets on their plates, only to watch them stay on the plate and not get touched during dinner. Even with the utmost bribery of ice cream, your kids will NOT eat anything green on their plate, looking at us like we must be joking.

I know, I know, kids aren’t supposed to like their veggies, and we as parents just want something in their bellies, even if it isn’t the best thing for them. But as moms, sometimes we need to be creative when it comes to getting our kids to eat foods that aren’t macaroni and cheese, as creative as we are when it comes to getting them to clean up their toys or brush their teeth. And the ultimate goal is that eventually our kids will love their veggies and choose them over cookies! Ok, whoa, let’s not go too far here….😝

Tip # 1: Make Vegetables the Only Food Option When Kids Are Hungry<<<<
The perfect time for this is while you’re making dinner, leave a bowl or plate full of veggies out on the counter and the kids will just gobble them up. Or grab them as their walking (running by). When it’s the only option available, it helps with temptation of other foods. And if they are truly hungry, they’ll eat them.

Tip #2: Make Eating Vegetables Fun! <<<<
It’s no coincidence that I’m writing this post while my kids devour a Costco sized bag of carrots by the handfuls….while eating them on the couch. I never let my kids eat on the couch, unless it’s their veggies (and popcorn on movie nights). There’s something freeing about leaving the table and eating on the couch. I also bring tubs of veggies in the car and let the kids hold them and play car games. Buying food portion plates with pictures on them is also fun for the kids and it teaches them what they should be eating the most of and the least. Let them dish up their plates and choose which veggies they want by the pictures on the plate.

Tip #3: Give Them the Option

One of the greatest things I’ve learned as a parent is that kids looovve to make their own decisions, all of the decisions actually. If it’s snack time, instead of just putting a plate of broccoli out in front of them and hope for the best, ask them what they would prefer, give them two options to choose from and let them make the decision, For example, ask them “should we have broccoli or carrots with our snack?” and letting them make the choice can actually excite them, like they are choosing their food. But be specific with your choices, don’t just say “what veggies do you want today”, as that leaves room for the age old “I don’t want vegetables moooooom!”. Be specific and let them choose.

Tip #4: When All Else Fails, Sneak Them In!

This is not really a tip, more like an affirmation that I, like so many other moms out there, live by. It’s so easy, and sometimes the only way to get veggies into my kids’ diet some days, as life does get crazy. Here are some ways I find that work for my kids. Smoothies-big one. Grab a couple giant handfuls of spinach and add them to fresh fruit, and bam, mega nutrients. Also, frozen purreed veggies (I freeze mine in ice cube trays so it’s easily accessible), works wonderful in sneaking them into pancake batters, sauces, soups, even smoothies. Last, if you have some limp kale, cook it slowly in your oven on a low heat and dry it out. Then process it into a super food powder and add it to pretty much any entree for some extra nutrients.

I hope these tips help you!

Until Next Time…

Bon Appetit

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Vegan Meatballs

I made the mistake of letting my kids try meatballs made with beef and now every time I make spaghetti they’re asking for the “non-healthy” meatballs. And I watch as their hopes and dreams vanish when I say “no honey, we’re having the ones with beans in them”. Hahaha! Yep I’m the mean Mom. The Mom that won’t let their kids have a sucker at 830 in the morning, the Mom that makes them wash their hands after school and after playing in the mud, and the Mom that makes them eat bean balls. Jealous?

Well here’s a new recipe I concocted after trying this recipe. Mine is very similar, just with a few tweaks. My youngest actually demolished his helping at dinner, while the older two sat quietly, eating their bean balls. In all seriousness though, these are fabulous if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to Meatballs for your weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

First, pulse 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds in the food processor until very fine.

Rinse and drain 1 (15 oz) can of white beans then mash beans until a nice paste forms. Set aside.

Next, sauté half of one red onion, until translucent, then add 3 cloves minced garlic and sauté just enough to wake the garlic up. Add onions and garlic to mashed beans along with spices and mix.

Finally, add oats, tomato paste and sunflower meal and mix well.

Roll approximately tablespoon sized mixture into balls and place on a parchment paper lined sheet and baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Enjoy with your favorite spaghetti noodles and sauce! Maybe even with some cashew Parmesan crumble??? Yum!

Vegan Meatballs

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of white beans
  • 1 TBS olive oil for sauté
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 3 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make it!

  1. Pulse your sunflower seeds in a food processor til fine.
  2. Rinse and drain beans and mash with a fork in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in medium pan and sauté onions until soft. Add minced garlic and sauté for only a minute. Add onions and garlic to mashed beans as well as your spices and mix well.
  4. Add your sunflower meal, oats and tomato paste and mix until well combined.
  5. Roll out about 15 TBS sized balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Until next time…

Bon Appetit!