It turns out that National Eat Your Vegetables Day is celebrated in June. The same month that kids are out of school for the summer. When I think of summer, sweet treats such as Popsicle’s under the hot Florida sun is what comes to mind. However; there are so many ways to incorporate vegetables into your child’s meals in a fun way this summer.
Do you struggle with getting your kids to eat their vegetables in general? I think we can all relate, at one point or another. If you pay close attention…most commercials, TV shows, and movies show kids refusing to eat their veggies. What’s portrayed is a real-life struggle for many but it’s also a script that should be re-written. How much better would it be to watch a scene of a child actually enjoying their vegetables? After all, children absorb and sometimes mimic what they see or hear. I remember my three-year-old son saying “Ewww! I don’t like broccoli!” -on repeat- just because he heard it on a children’s show.
So how can we encourage our children to eat their vegetables?
There are so many ways to blend veggies into the drinks and foods kids already enjoy. Whether it’s pureed that both little and big ones can enjoy or natural juices and smoothies the recipes are endless.
My go-to hidden veggie recipes include:
-Smoothies/Smoothie bowls with a variety of toppings
-Homemade Popsicle’s made of juice/smoothie blends
-Baked goods like muffins and pancake bites
-Veggie nuggets and burgers
I bet you can already predict the face your child is going to make even before you make it to the table when they see certain vegetables on their plate. Am I right? At our house, it’s mushrooms. The only way my kids will eat it is if it’s finely chopped and mixed into other foods. Whenever they don’t like a particular vegetable I ask them questions such as: Is it the smell? How it looks? What it tastes like? The texture? This helps me to come up with different ways to cook the vegetable rather than removing it from our grocery list or menu altogether. Sometimes it’s not the vegetable itself but how we present it meaning how we season, cook and even serve it. The same one thing can get boring and cause dislike…even for adults. Which is one of the reasons many of us get bored with our meal preps and stop. Vary your veggies AND the way you cook them.
I’ve always been a veggie lover and for the most part, my kids like them too. Not all vegetables though and that’s okay. It’s important to explain to our kids why eating vegetables is important. It may not always be easy but it’s not impossible. Be patient. Observe how they eat or how much they leave on their plates so you’re aware of which ones they like and dislike in order to vary the vegetable options throughout the week. Alternate between their favorites and not so favorites. Keep in mind that kids often go through phases when it comes to food. What they may not like to eat now they might enjoy later…so don’t give up on the veggies!
Each vegetable has benefits on its own. Eating vegetables, in general, and on a day-to-day basis is so beneficial to our health and overall well-being. It’s up to us as parents to set a positive example. Allow your children to see YOU eat veggies. Encourage them to try them too. Get creative in the kitchen to come up with different ways to cook them. Lastly, if you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting enough vegetables, consult with your child’s pediatrician.
What vegetable will you be celebrating “National Eat Your Vegetable Day” with?
Have a recipe that has won you major brownie points? Share it in the comments below, we just might feature you on our social channels in celebration of a job well done Mom!