It’s a common cry “I can’t get my kids to eat vegetables!” And when I ask the parent in question: “do you get enough” their most sudden response to avert their eyes, look at the ground, check their blackberry, anything but feel the heat of my gaze.
Working vegetables and fruits into each and every meal is THE ONLY way to be sure you get enough. And, doing this while your kids are still you will set an inescapable standard. By the time they are teens, and out of your sight, you won’t have as much impact but at least you’ve shown them the ropes!
An easy veggie day looks like this:
Breakfast: An egg and some kind of smoothie or cut fresh fruit
Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus
Lunch: Spinach or broccoli soup with cheese
Snack: Smoothie or apple slices with cheese strings
Dinner: Chicken with sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli
It doesn’t matter how old you are, 2 or 102, this pattern is very workable. If you work it. If you forget or lose your focus, it is easy to slide below the health protective amount of health protecting nutrients.
Here are some Top veggie tips:
- Take care of you; set the pace, kids will follow eventually
- Don’t make it a big deal, put everything on the table and back off!
- Do try many and varied veggies, you just never know
- Do let them experiment in restaurants: Asian stir fries are usually sodium soaked enough to at least encourage a nibble.
- Do try different methods: grilled, marinated, slaw-ed (is that a word?)sautéed in butter. Disguising the flavor and changing the texture does help.
- Yes! Hide them. Sweet potato muffins, canned pumpkin in spaghetti sauce, spinach in a blueberry smoothie…
And the coup de gras: make chips!
- This recipe couldn’t be easier or more popular. Kale is the #1 vegetable in terms of nutrient and fibre value and it dries in the oven into something that feels like chips but is way better for you!
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 tsp each of chili powder and garlic powder
- sea salt to taste
Rinse each leaf under cold running water and pat dry. Rip 3 inch pieces of the leaf from the stem and discard the touch stems. Lay pieces in a single layer on one or two baking sheets and sprinkle with chili powder, garlic and sea salt. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until crispy but not browned for about 15 minutes (depending upon the size and dryness of the leaves). Turn oven off and leave kale in with door ajar for about 15-30 more minutes until crisp. Serve within 24 hours, store in container only after cooled.