• Holly Freeman

Sneakin' in the Veggies

Food habits can be hard to change. I personally could eat the same breakfast everyday and be perfectly happy, but I know I need more variety in my diet and my kids especially need more variety. At their annual visit to the pediatrician, we fill out a questionnaire about the kids’ eating habits, and I don’t exactly lie, but I usually give an answer closer to our best days, rather than an average day in terms of diet.



So how do we get our kids in the habit of eating more veggies? We’ll here are a few things I’ve discovered that I’ll share from some of our best days:


Peanut Butter Carrot Wrap (it sounds gross, but my kids love it, I promise):

Tortilla

peanut butter

shredded carrot

raisins

honey (if they need a little sweetener to convince them this is a good combo)


Spinach Smoothie (we probably all know this one, but I’ll include it here as a reminder—the fruit totally masks the taste of the spinach)

Blend together:

Handful of spinach

1 banana

2 tablespoons flax seed

1 orange or ½ cup berries

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ to 1 cup milk



Little side note about yogurt: Did you know most flavored yogurts have as much sugar in them as a serving of ice cream? Make the switch to plain yogurt and add honey and vanilla so you decide how much sweetener your kids get.


Here’s a quick, creamy soup my family loves, especially in winter when raw veggies doesn’t feel quite right and can be so hard for toddlers to eat:


Carrot Ginger Soup

Melt in pan:

6 Tb butter

Add and Saute:

8 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 Tb fresh grated ginger


Add and cook 15 minutes, then blend until creamy:

3 cups chicken broth

½ cup half and half (or milk)

Salt

¼ tsp white pepper


Finally, a habit we’ve formed that helps get in lots of veggies is a Veggie Snack Time that starts around 5:00 and leads right up to dinner. I set out raw veggies (or roasted veggies, especially in winter) and the kids can eat as much as they’d like while I’m preparing dinner. (Of course, by the time dinner is ready I’ve usually snacked so much I’m not hungry, but that’s a separate issue.)


Maybe your family has some great ways of sneakin’ in the veggies. I’d love to hear about it. Share your thoughts in the comments below.