July 27, 2011

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Tips to get your kids eating healthy veggies!

Do you cringe at dinner time, just waiting for your kids not to touch their veggies. One of every mom’s most common questions is, “How do I get my kids to eat and enjoy their veggies?” Where does one turn to find creative, tasty recipes that every kid will love? Well SocialMoms has  teamed up with Sarah Matheny, author of “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love,”  had us bloggers give our reader tons of refreshing, new veggie recipe ideas! \

Here are some great tips from Sarah to get your kids eating healthy veggies!
  • Take your kids shopping.  Familiarize your kiddos with the produce section and let them choose a veggie themselves based solely on what they think looks fun, but only if they promise to eat some.  You may be surprised when they load asparagus or parsnips in the cart, but knowing that they got to pick it will make them excited to have some on their plate.
  • Warm ‘em up or cool ‘em down.  While your children may not like raw broccoli, they may enjoy it lightly steamed.  Roasted carrots may be too squishy, but they may love crunching into a raw baby carrot.  Try new ways of preparation before writing off a veggie completely.
  • Keep their favorites on the side.  At our house, we keep the fruit and yogurt off the table until we’ve eaten a fair amount of our veggies.  This way they have a little incentive to graduate to their next course without feeling like we are bribing them with dessert.
  • Let them Build-Their-Own.  We find a way to get the kids involved in making almost every meal, and give them a variety of veggies to add to their creation.  I arrange small bowls of veggies all over the counter so the kids can make their own salad bowls, pasta bowls, rice bowls and wraps.  It’s amazing what they’ll try when they get to add it themselves!
  • Get them sauced.  Find a healthy sauce you approve of and that your kids enjoy and let them use it liberally.  Dip, drizzle and mix it in and your kids will be eating veggies you never dreamed of.

Here are OneMommaSavingMoney’s tips to get your kids eating healthy veggies!
1. Plant your own garden or have some potted plants on your porch. Since we have planted two raised garden over the years, the kids help plant, water, harvest, etc. The love It and can not wait to eat what they grew!
2. Head to your local farmers market and show your kids all the different veggies out there. If they become more familiar with the veggies out there, they may be more willing to try something different!
3. Introduce early on. I made all my own baby food, so they kids were used to eating veggies at an early age. I continued it as a snack, lunch item, etc.
4. When in doubt, add cheese sauce, shredded cheese or ranch! My daughter loves melted cheese on her veggies, while my son loves to dip!
5. Cook them differently! I love to soak veggies in Italian dressing and throw them on the grill. Served in a pita, it is a wonderful change to just a pile of veggies on a plate.
6. Hide them! Seriously grind them up and added them to your meatloaf, pasta or whatever you are serving.
7. On the same line of hiding, get creative! Make some Zucchini bread, Zucchini crisp (like apple crisp), carrot cakes, etc. Not all sweets are bad for you!
8. Cut them up in fun shapes! Who can resist eating stars, circles, etc.
9. Try, Try, Try again. It takes a number of times of introducing a new food item before a child realizes they like it!
10. Have fun with them. Whenever we get green beans, I have the kids each grab one and we see who can eat it like a rabbit the fastest!

About Peas and Thank You
Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. It's filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist—no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.” Sarah Matheny's delicious recipes and entertaining stories draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to her blog, peasandthankyou.com each month, where she makes raising a vegetarian family easy and fun. She is the author of  “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.”

Disclosure:  “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here


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