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There’s no denying the benefits of vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are “important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C,” according to Choose My Plate.
But getting more plants into your family’s diet can get a little tricky. Between busy schedules, kids that shy away from veggies, and food allergies, the battle can be overwhelming. Read on for five of our favorite ways to encourage your family to eat more vegetables.
Try Family-Style Dining
Sometimes the best thing you can do for picky eaters is acknowledge the journey. It takes some kids longer than others to learn to like certain tastes. Using phrases like “It’s ok that you don’t yet like Brussel sprouts. Mom loves them and maybe you will one day, too!” Demonstrating and encouraging more adventurous eating is easiest in the family-style format.
Instead of plating food before you sit down, place bowls on the table for each family member to pick and choose what they eat. Eventually, your picky eater might put a piece of broccoli on his plate, and later, take a bite.
Join a CSA Garden
Most cities have community gardens where you join to support local farmers and receive a box of in-season fruits and vegetables every few weeks. Many small farmers offer in-season vegetables that are much different than what you’d find in a conventional grocery store. Find your local CSA HERE.
Get Your Kids Cooking
Nothing gets kids more excited than helping. So next time you’re planning your grocery delivery for the week ahead, involve them in the process and look for kid-friendly recipes to try. When it is time to cook, have them help chop the veggies (HERE is our favorite child-friendly knife), mix the ingredients, and set timers.
Add Veggies to Your Go-To Recipes
Your blender or immersion mixer is your new best friend. Next time you’re making your staple meal, add veggies and blend. Here are our favorite ways to sneak them in:
- Add carrots and spinach to pasta sauce
- Butternut squash easily complements macaroni and cheese
- Pancakes taste exactly the same when you add shredded zucchini
Try a Cupcake Tray
Need a new lunch option? Fill each muffin tin with different foods, ranging from protein to fruit and veggies. Don’t forget to throw a few favorites in. The goal with a cupcake tray lunch is to expose your child to a few pieces of something rather than overwhelm them.