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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Plant Based Kitchen-The Secret of the Kitchenista!

Ok, I’ve got to spill the beans about a company here in Denver, CO: Plant Based KitchenFounded by Chef Kelley Williamson, back in 2013, this gem has been offering cooking demonstrations all over the Denver Metro area. I have attended a few of them, at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and local companies in my town of Parker. I have tasted her yummy nummy foods, made from recipes that she’s created, and I usually can’t wait to get home and make them myself (note to reader: her tofu ricotta is outta this world good!). She also offers cooking classes, open to the public for a very low cost. Offered in a very intimate setting, in the kitchen of a local church, only 12 people can participate in a class at a time. These classes offer the chance to cook with Chef Kelley, and make her recipes, while eating, conversing and just enjoying the company of other food enthusiasts. Did I mention you get to eat yummy food while in these classes?? Teehee 😝 Chef Kelley specializes in plant based recipes, and partners with Jerry Casados, a plant based nutritionist that offers advice and education at her demos and classes.

This past weekend, I attended my first cooking class of Chef Kelley’s. The theme: Freezer Friendly Meals. Having never been to one of her classes, I didn’t know what to expect. I walked into the kitchen of the church, and I immediately had butterflies; the kitchen and set up were a dream!


12 of us were all gathered around the kitchen’s center chop block, met with our own knives and recipes.


And in the middle of the table, was a large bowl of berries and Chef Kelley’s coffee cake. It was gorgeous! And yes, we did get to eat it. Devour it, I mean 😋


With 5 recipes to make and only 2 1/2 hours to make them, the 12 of us divided into 5 groups of 2-3 people and each group made one recipe. My group made Good Morning Muffins, which were loaded with fresh cut apples and carrots, dates and chopped nuts…oh yum! 

our very large bowl of muffin batter!

We had to make enough food for everyone to taste it in the class, as well as enough to take home with us. So we quadrupled the recipes. Every recipe was vegan, plant based, salt and oil free. We all had a lot of fun navigating a kitchen we’ve never been in before, and making recipes that we had never made. We joked, asked a lot of questions about food, health and wellness with Jerry, and got to know one another a little bit. It was a really good time! 

With a 1/2 an hour left, we all sat down and enjoyed the food we created. We discussed our experiences making them, as well as complimenting one another on a job well done. We all had our faves of what was made of course (mine was the cowboy lasagne: layers of  beans, fresh veggies and cashew cream with a fresh garlic bite….drooolllll), but all in all every recipe was a hit. We all got to take leftovers home to share, or save for a midnight snack. 😝 I gave my muffins to my kiddos for an afternoon snack. They didn’t last long. 

cowboy lasagne, basil tetrazzini, apricot oatmeal bars, and oatmeal pancakes
I had never been to something like this before and was really glad that I went! If you’re ever in the mood to eat some good food, learn a few new recipes or try your cooking skills out with Chef Kelley, look up Plant Based Kitchen and attend a class. Chef Kelley does not disappoint!

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart.

Until next time…

Bon Appetit! 

The Best Shredded Kale Salad *My Version*

photo courtesy of Yelp

There’s a restaurant in Denver, CO called True Food Kitchen. It’s exactly what the name suggests, they serve real food, from sustainable ingredients. They are a non- GMO facility and their food is mostly local and based on season. Needless to say, it’s a real gem in the Cherry Creek community! 

They have a salad on their menu, a shredded kale salad, that is really, really, tasty. It is mostly ordered as a side salad, or before the entree salad, but I believe you can order a meal portion as well. The salad is made with shredded kale, and is tossed with parmesan cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. Seriously, amazing. One of the best kale salads I’ve had in a restaurant hands down. The zest from the lemon hits your tongue almost instantly and the crunch of the kale and saltiness from the cheese leave you wanting more and more. Yum. I’ve seen copycat versions of this salad on the internet and they actually come pretty close to the real deal. But I have my own I’d like to share with you. It’s not exactly like the masterpiece at True Food Kitchen, but let’s just say it’s inspired by it! 

inside True Food Kitchen-photo courtesy of a Yelp

First, we need our kale. I say this because there’s so many kinds of kale out there, that picking which one to use for a shredded kale salad is important. Lacinato Kale aka dinosaur kale is my fave for this salad. It gives you the perfect shred. Depending on the size of  salad you’re making, you will need anywhere from 2 to 4 bunches of kale. The nice thing about this salad is that your cuts don’t have t be perfect. Shredding your kale can be messy, neat, long ways or short ways, whatever suits you. No one will know! 


For contrast, I usually will had some chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach, to help create a fuller salad, and of course get more greens into it! 

After you shred your kale, make your dressing.  I use about a tablespoon of olive oil to balance out my balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of agave nectar and juice from 1-2 oranges. Don’t you just love my exact measurements!!?? The amount of dressing you make will depend on the size of salad you have, so the amount is really up to you.


 I know True Food Kitchen uses a lemon vinaigrette for their salad, and yes it is yummy, but I find that orange goes better with balsamic vinegar and lemon goes better with rice or apple cider vinegar. Just my taste. 

Toss the kale with the dressing and massage it for a good 2 minutes. The acidity from the balsamic vinegar will actually help break down the kale and make it softer to chew. 



After massaging the kale, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours, but no longer. You want soft kale, not soggy kale! 

Now here comes the exciting part to the salad, the cheese/nut crumble. The salad at True Food Kitchen uses parmesean cheese; we are going to make a vegan nut crumble that will mimic the taste of cheese. And we will do that with 3 lovely ingredients: nuts (pecans work best, but walnuts would work well too), nutritional yeast and a touch of olive oil to help bind the two. 


Blend them up in your food processor until fine. I got the idea from this kale salad recipe. It’s really simple and adds amazing flavor to the salad. 

We are almost done! When ready to serve the salad, top the kale with the cheese/nut crumble and dried craisins, or raisins work really well too. I almost like them better than the craisins myself. 




This salad is a good option for a potluck, dinner parties or Tuesday salad night. Hope you like it! 

Shredded Kale Salad with Citrus Vinigarette 

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 bunches of lacinato kale 
  • 1/2 cup craisins or raisins

Cheese Nut Crumble:

  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2-3 TBS nutritional yeast 

Citrus Vinigarette 

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • Juice from 2 oranges
  • Squeeze of agaves nectar, or other liquid sweetener

Make it! 

  1. Shred your kale
  2. Make your dressing and toss kale, massaging the kale for 2 minutes to soften it up. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
  3. Make your nut crumble by placing all ingredients into a food processor and grind 15 to 30 seconds. You want the nuts somewhat fine, but still have some texture.
  4. When ready to serve the salad, top kale with nut crumble and craisins. Enjoy! 

NOTE: add dimension that your salad by adding a couple heads of romaine or baby spinach. Do not, however, add the extra greens until ready to serve the salad, as they will get too soggy sitting in the dressing for 3 hours. 

Until next time….

Bon Appetit!