Growing up I had the absolutely worst diet. If it wasn’t Top Ramen, chicken, or cheese odds are I wouldn’t eat it. I practically hated everything, especially vegetables. But for some reason soon after I had Hayden, my first born, my palette changed. I started to enjoy and even crave some of the food I disliked growing up. Fast-forward to today and my eating habits have done a complete 360.
But just because my tune concerning a healthier diet has changed, doen’t mean my family’s have. Just like most moms out there, I struggle with getting my little ones to eat their veggies. Like, seriously struggle! The only vegetables these two will get near are potatoes and corn. Which are not the most nutrient rich veggies out there. And while allowing them to continue this habit would save a lot of tears, I’ve felt an increasing responsibility to take charge of my family’s diet. Not only because I am more aware of what my family eats now that I’m a stay at home mom, but because to foster a love of fruit and vegetables would only provide a lifetime of health benefits. And as a mother that is all we want, right? For our children to be happy and healthy.
So slowly but surely I have started to make subtle changes to our diet. I have started to incorporate as many vegetables into each meal as I can and I’ve begun to offer fruit as a snack, rather than just reaching for more “convenient” processed foods. While this may seem like a big change, it has been a rather easy switch honestly. Luckily, my kids love fruits so replacing their normal snacks with healthier options was a breeze. As far as getting them to enjoy their veggies, well that has taken a little more thought and effort on my behalf. While I do try to encourage my kids to try new things at least once, sometimes as much as you want them to enjoy carrots or broccoli it is just not going to happen. So I’ve had to come up with ideas on how to get these same veggies into their tummies without them necessarily knowing. And while “hiding” vegetables in their food may not be the best approach to fostering their love for all things healthy, I would rather have them get their necessary nutrients this way than not at all. So until the day comes when they openly enjoy veggies, I am totally okay with this approach.
So how does one go from having their kids practically eating no veggies to eating a lot more? Well, Pinterest and a handy little gadget called the Ninja Storm Food and Drink Processor. I recently acquired it as a gift and this thing has seriously made adding veggies into our diet so much easier! From making smoothies to finely chopping up our vegetables, this processor has become my best friend. But anyways, when it comes to getting your kids to eat healthy sometimes it takes a little ingenuity. Like adding finely diced veggies into their pasta sauce or making black bean breakfast patties. Pinterest can be your best tool when thinking of different ways to get your family to eat a more healthy diet. To see what recipes have worked for my family, just keep scrolling!
Our Favorite Healthy Dishes:
Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese– This is the only type of mac n’ cheese we eat around here. It is my absolute favorite! Click here for the recipe.
Black Bean Veggie Patties: Super easy to make and really nutritious, these patties can be made smaller for breakfast or made as a hamburger alternative. I recently made these and my little ones gobbled them up! Don’t be afraid to experiment and make the recipe work for you and your family. To get started, check this recipe here!
Cauliflower Fried Rice: I was hesitant to try this, but once you get your protein and sauce on this dish you really can’t tell the difference! Plus, cauliflower rice has become so popular you can pick up a bag already diced and ready to cook at your local supermarket. Which makes it a super easy and fast meal! Recipe here.
Smoothies: Probably the easiest way to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables, smoothies are definitely our go to in the morning and during snack time. Pinterest is FULL of great healthy smoothie recipes, all you have to do is pick the one that sounds the yummiest!
Veggie Pasta Sauce: My kids love pasta and because it’s quick to make, I love it too. And while this dish could be considered semi-healthy, I figured why not amp up the nutrients by incorporating some veggies right into the sauce. So recently, I’ve been adding finely diced carrots and zucchini into my kid’s pasta sauce. Super easy to do and your kids will eat their veggies without knowing it! All you have to do it dice carrots and zucchini (or any vegetable of your choice) in your food processor, saute in olive oil with some garlic and onions for flavor, then once cooked add into pasta sauce. All done!
What are some recipes you use to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet? Leave your comments below!