How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

blog-post_300x250_back-to-schoolIn a perfect world, children everywhere would be running to the dinner table, crying out for veggies and asking for seconds afterwards. Unfortunately, that’s not reality and parents are left to fend for themselves on the frontlines of the battle over veggies. Most little tykes will not go ga-ga for veggies unless you incorporate some familiar elements like cheese, BBQ, or dipping sauces. Here are a few recipes to creatively get your kids to love their veggies.

  1. Sneak In Veggies Everywhere. Top your kids favorite pizza with primarily veggies like spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, onions, and bell peppers. Shred veggies and throw into lasagna, casseroles, soups, and even homemade muffins. You can also add veggies like spinach, kale, cucumbers, carrots, or even pumpkins to their smoothies! 
  2. Roast Veggies with Cheese. In a 9x11 baking dish, dice sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sweet shallots, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, and tomatoes and mix with 2 Tbs olive oil, ½ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp garlic salt. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and let sit in oven for another 5 minutes, or until melted. For added flavor, use a packet of Italian salad dressing mix and increase olive oil to ½ cup along with a squeeze of lemon juice. 
  3. Veggie Chips Ahoy. Get creatively crispy by making your own kale chips or sweet potato chips! For Kale Chips: wash leaves thoroughly and tear into bite sized pieces. Arrange evenly on baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until crispy. For a cheesy version check out our Cheezy Kale Chip recipe. For Sweet Potato Chips: peel and thinly slice potatoes, toss with 1 Tbs olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, and ¼ tsp cumin. Arrange evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400°, flip over chips and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until crispy. 
  4. Grilled Veggie Delight. Slice veggies into kabob style chunks. Place approximately 5-7 veggie pieces on each skewer. Using a basting brush, coat veggies in 2 Tbs olive oil mixed with equal parts lemon pepper, sea salt, dried rosemary, and dried parsley. Place on the grill over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Turn over and grill another 4 minutes or until veggies are al dente. For a sweeter version, brush veggies with a orange teriyaki glaze with some pineapple cubes between veggies.
  5. Host a Dipping Party. Create a buffet of veggies using a rainbow of veggies like celery, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, jicama, broccoli, mushrooms, radishes, and sugar snap peas. Set up several small bowls of dips for them to try and let your little ones dip away. Some options include: hummus, low fat ranch dressing, sriracha, BBQ sauce, honey dijon mustard, Tzatziki (made with Greek yogurt & dill), or peanut sauce.

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