This week, our friend Pam Farley of the Brown Thumb Mama is sharing her tricks on how she gets her family to eat more vegetables! Here are her top 12 tips:
1. Chop or grate vegetables and add to Loaded Fried Rice. Great choices include carrots, zucchini, peas, cabbage, and even finely chopped green beans.
2. Make veggies easy to eat and readily available. Keep cut-up jicama, celery, and carrots in the fridge. Set them out for an after-school snack, and for the family to munch on while preparing dinner. In this case, a little bit of hunger is your friend.
3. Add spinach, kale, or other greens to a smoothie for a whole lot of nutrition without affecting the smoothie’s flavor (blueberries are great for hiding the flavor of greens).
4. Pour your smoothie into popsicle molds to make healthy popsicles.
5. Spaghetti sauce is a great place to include extra vegetables. Grate up some carrots or zucchini, or finely chop spinach and add to your spaghetti sauce while it cooks.
6. Menus matter! If you serve a vegetable kids hate with a main dish they love, they will eat the main dish and skip the veggies entirely. Try making a main dish that they’re ambivalent about and they’ll be much more likely to eat their vegetables.
7. Add chopped spinach to homemade pizza dough. This is super-popular with the kids (use the spaghetti sauce you made with the extra veggies too)!
8. Grow a garden! If kids help plant the seeds and grow vegetables and fruit, they’re much more likely to eat them. You can grow vegetables indoors, outside in containers, or even in your front or back yard.
9. Roasting vegetables is an easy way to make them more family-friendly since it brings out their natural sweetness. Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, parsnips, and sweet potatoes are all great choices for roasting.
10. It’s always more fun to eat with your fingers. Try making zucchini or broccoli stem fritters, or carrot or green bean fries.
11. Make lettuce or chard wraps. This is sort of like an Asian burrito with a lettuce/chard shell instead of a tortilla. Cook the protein and veggies of your choice with a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Then everybody scoops a bit of the filling into their lettuce or chard and eats it like a taco.
12. Believe it or not, you can sneak vegetables into brownies. You can make brownies with black beans, with spinach, or with sweet potatoes. Don’t forget old favorites like zucchini bread or pumpkin bread too.
For more tips, check out the full article on Brown Thumb Mama!