The Children’s Nutrition Research Center has a few tips for parents on how to make vegetables more tempting to kids:
- Offer a new veggie at the start of a meal when kids tend to be hungriest.
- Serve different veggies together to create colorful new combinations, such as peas with cauliflower and carrots.
- Cook veggies in low-sodium chicken stock to give them more flavor; make carrot “slaw” with raisins; and grate zucchini into baked goods, like whole-wheat muffins.
- Prepare dishes in new ways. Try stir-frying frozen veggies; topping frozen pizza with fresh mushrooms or green peppers; and adding puréed spinach or broccoli to spaghetti sauce as a healthy thickener.
- Encourage your kids to cut out promising recipes from magazines; and engage kids in a scavenger hunt at the grocery store to find fresh ingredients on your shopping list.
- Let kids help prepare veggie kebabs by stacking cherry tomatoes and mushrooms on a stick to be grilled.
- Bring kids along to local farmers’ markets to learn how to shop for healthy fare.
- Be a good role model yourself when it comes to eating your share of veggies!