Kids and veggies usually go together like chocolate and mustard. (That was the grossest combo I could think of. LOL)
But we all know that they should really, really eat them!
There are basically two ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet: voluntarily and sneakily.
Some don’t believe in the practice of sneaking veggies in. They say that we should teach our kids to like veggies at an early age. Well OF COURSE we should. But some kids will not get excited about it no matter how much you try, or they just don’t eat enough of them. If that is the case, I think incorporating them into other foods is perfectly acceptable, so that their little bodies still get the nutritional benefits. Because that is hugely important.
Before we talk about some creative ideas though, let’s discuss what constitutes ‘trying to get your kids to eat vegetables’. I don’t believe that it’s just putting broccoli on their dinner plate a handful of times and then deciding they don’t like it. I have always put veggies on my kids’ plates EVERY time they are served. And guess what. They randomly eat them! Sometimes my five year old will surprise us and eat all of his veggies first. That would never happen if they weren’t on his plate. So be consistent! It will pay off.
Here are some other ideas in the meantime….
1) Smoothies! This is my favorite way to sneak in veggies because they get disguised as a sweet treat. Spinach and avocado are two of my favorite smoothie additions. Their flavors are so mild that you can’t detect them, but they both add a ton of nutrients. Here are a couple great ones to try: Creamy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie and DIY Smoothie Freezer Packs. This is what I use to make my smoothies and I love it. It’s super easy and dishwasher safe. Woot!
2) Purees: Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots all make delicious purees when mixed with a little butter and seasonings. My little one loves ‘mashers’ of all flavors. Puree steamed cauliflower together with a little grass-fed butter, garlic, pink salt, and pepper for a delicious mashed potato substitute. Carrots can be mashed with the same, or you can add cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweet potatoes are great mashed with just a little butter, salt, and cracked pepper. YUM
3) Pasta Alternatives: I am IN LOVE with spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles as pasta substitutes. Spaghetti squash can be cut in half and microwaved in about 15 minutes, and zucchini noodles are super easy to make with one of these Spiralizers. One trick for the zucchini noodles is to let them pre-sweat in the oven for a bit, then squeeze them dry. Here’s a great tutorial. You honestly do not miss the pasta. It’s so delicious, and doesn’t leave you with that gross too-full pasta feeling. Plus they’re full of nutrients. Bonus!
5) Reward Chart: The Well Fed Families Reward Chart gets little ones excited about eating healthy, and it’s my gift to you for being a Well Fed Families reader! Oh, and it’s not bribery. It’s a reward for a positive, healthy behavior. Kids have been rewarded for years for eating junk food (hello, fast food kid’s meals with a toy). Doesn’t it make way more sense to encourage them to eat healthy foods? Set a reasonable goal for them each week and give them a reward for reaching it (having a friend over, skipping a chore, a trip to the park, etc). Just no candy rewards, please. 😉
Give some of these a try this week,
Trying to get on a healthier track??
Hey! I’m Julie.
I’m the mother of three, ages 28, 21, and 6, and Gima (grandmom) to a five-year-old grandson.
Over my 28 years of child-rearing I have been ALL the moms (single, married, stay-at-home, working, young, ‘mature’, struggling, stable, etc) and have faced every healthy eating challenge there is.
I’m now the founder of Well Fed Families, and I authored a cookbook called ‘Easy, Healthy Meals for the Tired-Ass Mom’ just for moms like YOU!
I bring tons of real-life, family-raising experience to the table to help other overwhelmed mamas get on a healthier track.
Please get comfy and take a look around. I have lots of good stuff for you!
I’m so glad you’re here. <3