It’s a tale as old as time: you put forth the effort to create healthy, well-rounded meals for your children only to have them turn up their noses at the green on their plate. You know it’s important to establish heart healthy eating habits for your children early to prepare them for a lifetime of nourishing their bodies, but you’re tired of waging the vegetable war.
Before you wave the white kitchen towel and surrender, we have a few tips and tricks that can not only get your kids to eat their veggies, but might even have them asking for another helping.
5 Tips and Tricks for Serving Veggies to Your Kids
Serve cut up veggies with hummus, salad dressing or a homemade veggie dip to encourage your children to eat with their hands. Carrots, raw broccoli, celery, sliced bell peppers and sugar snap peas are all great veggies for dipping.
When veggies take on a new and fun form, your children might be more likely to give them another taste test. Create noodles out of zucchini and other hearty vegetables with a spiralizer or slice up and roast a parsnip to make “French fries.”
Seasonings can go a long way in making vegetables more kid friendly. While you want to be careful to avoid blends that are high in sodium, the right spices and herbs can really help bring out a vegetable’s natural flavor. Try Italian seasoning on sliced squash, smoked paprika on broccoli or fresh dill on green beans.
Now, obviously you want your child to be aware they’re developing a taste for vegetables. However, there’s no harm in sneaking them a few extra servings to make sure they’re still benefitting from the nutrients while they get over their picky stage. Blend extra veggies into their spaghetti sauce, cube butternut squash into their macaroni and cheese or even—gasp!—hide black beans in their brownies.
Similar to our tip to transform, we thought pureeing deserved it’s own category because of how many options it can create. You can puree cauliflower or edamame for a mashed potato substitute, blend up a hearty vegetable soup or add a few handfuls of spinach to a fruit smoothie.
As time passes and your children become more familiar with the tastes of different vegetables, hopefully you won’t have to employ so many different tricks for getting them to eat their broccoli. In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight!
Need more heart healthy meal ideas? Check out our free Employee Entrée Cookbook!