Skip to main content

Some Tips For Mixing Kids And Vegetables

I have three kids, and a husband that can still be somewhat picky, so I have learned a few techniques over the years that have helped to get the veggies eaten in our house. Here are a few of those; and I honestly hope that they help. Fruits and vegetables should truly make up the majority of a healthy diet, and most kids in our country are not eating as many as they should.

1.     Green Peas. Almost every vegetable that I see kids turn their noses up at is overcooked. Don’t ever buy peas in a can: they are already destroyed. They are cooked simply by boiling a pan of water, and then adding a bag of frozen peas. Stir the peas into the water with a spoon, and as soon as that water begins to bubble, remove the peas from the heat and drain off the water. My kids love them warm with garlic powder, salt, and melted butter, or cold on top of a green salad or in a pasta salad with vinaigrette.
2.     Carrots. Actually working some knife skills will help a lot with carrots. I have seen children devour a platter of carrots that I have cut into thin julienne strips, when they will not even touch the baby carrots right out of the bag. Few kids like cooked carrots in butter or a sweet sauce in my experience, but when shaved thinly into a chili or a vegetable soup with a peeler, my kids always gobble them up. Remember to buy a dry packet of ranch dressing at the grocery store and then mix it with cream and sour cream at home to avoid the added sugars found in pre-made dressings, for serving raw carrot sticks.
3.     Green Beans. The cutting technique can come into play with these as well. To get kids to eat green beans, I always buy French Cut Green Beans. They can either be canned or frozen. Then I sauté them with garlic and red onion in olive oil and top them with salt and pepper. My kids absolutely love this dish, even though they will not even touch southern-style green beans that have been boiled with ham and bacon drippings for hours upon end.
4.     Tomatoes. My daughter still will not touch a plain raw tomato, although she will eat salsa all day, or tomato sauce or cooked tomatoes. The key is in the size of the bites. I have discovered that she will even scoff at tomatoes that are diced in sauce (according to the can), but will devour a petite dice without complaint. Please note that store bought ketchup is NOT to be considered a vegetable under any circumstances. As a matter of fact, most ketchup varieties contain more than fifty percent sugar.
5.     Broccoli. Again with this vegetable, cooking can make all of the difference. All three of my kids like broccoli, one adores it and will eat entire heads. I always, always, blanch broccoli. I boil water and remove it from the heat completely before stirring chopped broccoli into it for no longer than a minute before draining. No amount of melted cheese could ever get me to touch broccoli as a kid. Strangely enough however, a very savvy cafeteria lady in elementary school got me to start eating it with red wine vinegar and salt. I still enjoy it that way occasionally today, and I have never met anyone who will eat broccoli who does not enjoy it more when topped with browned butter.
6.     Celery and Cabbage. These two veggies have awesome fiber and both undergo complete transformations in flavor when stewed. Soup is the answer. I throw them both into my vegetable soup, which the kids adore, and they are both common ingredients in all kinds of soups that are healthy for kids.
7.     Pumpkin. I sneak canned pumpkin into all kinds of things in our house. It goes into spaghetti sauce, as well as into chili. I have made homemade hot chocolate with pumpkin, as well as custard, and it goes great in warm rice or oatmeal at breakfast.
8.     Spinach. It is green and has a strong flavor, but it has scads of vitamins and minerals, so it is good to try and work it into meals. Surprisingly, my kids will eat it willingly when chopped and added to scrambled eggs with ground pork. Spinach can also be easily incorporated into meatballs as well as meatloaf and typically goes completely unnoticed by children.
9.     Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and Artichokes. These can be hard sells, but I find that the one thing that will get kids munching on them is the fact that they can all be dipped in melted butter. We boil artichokes in our house, and when there is melted butter around, they disappear before my eyes. For asparagus and Brussels sprouts, I find that the best bet is to roast them sprinkled with salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic powder. At 350, this takes about 30 min for sprouts, and 10 for asparagus. 
10. Cauliflower. This is a vegetable that I kept trying to prepare in a way that my kids would like, and I have yet to succeed. Then I woke up one day and thought: “Why bother?” Cauliflower is a white vegetable that contains relatively few vitamins and minerals. Who cares if they eat it, then? If they decide to when they are older, then great. For now I am sticking to working on the vegetables that pack a bigger nutritional punch.


Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

The Power Of Willful Ignorance

I watched a woman say these words in a speech a few moments ago and nothing could be more true...willful ignorance is insanely powerful. Willful ignorance is the reason that good German people allowed their neighbors to be dragged off by the Nazis in the middle of the night. It is the reason that American people choose to believe our homeless are lazy and irresponsible instead of facing the reality that their situations have arisen because of widespread mental illness and cooperate greed. It is the reason that you will pick up a steak on your way home from work tonight, not bothering to find out where it came from, because you just don’t want to know. The truth is too disgusting.
I have gone on about the meat industry quite a bit and my goal here is not to do that. I love to eat meat, I will state that again, but the example that comes from our consumption of factory meat is so powerful when it comes to explaining willful ignorance that I want to use it. Out of ALL of the many, many,…

Resolve to be Happy

1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks