Nov 08, 2011
Let’s face it. Whether we’re facing picky eaters or we’re in a salad rut, most of us could use a boost when it comes to enjoying more vegetables.
When serving veggies to kids, it’s very important to avoid setting veggies up as undesirable– as in “eat two more bites of broccoli and then you can have dessert.” Rather, serve them and then let the kids decide how much they want (you can suggest a “try it” bite.) And remember, they need to see you eating your veggies, too. Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
Serve Them For Breakfast
Vegetables are a morning staple for many cultures around the globe. A few basic ideas to start your day with a veggie serving:
- Cook up a mini-omelet with eggs, chopped spinach or mixed veggies. Layer with cheese on a small bagel.
- Grab a piece of leftover vegetable pizza
- Sauté chopped onions, bell peppers and sweet peas with scrambled eggs. Wrap into whole wheat tortilla.
- Pair raw, crunchy veggies with a peanut butter and lowfat vanilla yogurt dip.
Make Them Sweet With Heat
Roasting veggies brings out a natural sweetness – my go-to recipe is toss raw or canned veggies with a few tablespoons of olive oil, minced garlic, dash of salt & pepper. Herbs and spices also bring out the best in veggies. Some combos for the oven:
- Carrots + cinnamon + nutmeg
- Green beans + ginger + sesame seeds
- Broccoli + tarragon + garlic
- Cauliflower + cumin + lemon zest
Give Them a Whirl
While I’m not a big fan of hiding veggies in food (again, implies veggies are the bad guys,) pureeing cooked veggies can enhance a recipe both in taste and nutrition. It’s up to you whether or not you tell the family what’s in the dish!
- Mix pureed butternut squash or pumpkin into homemade mac & cheese
- Puree onions and carrots into tomato sauce for pasta or pizza
- Blend root veggies like turnips or parsnips with potatoes for a rich, creamy soup base.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, blend spinach or kale into a fruit smoothie.