5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables this Winter

We all know getting kids to eat their veggies can feel like a full-time job.  Or, at least, it does for me.  Learning the importance of good nutrition, and seeing its positive effects in action, inspires me to spend more time in the kitchen, the garden and the farmers market.  Here are 5 ways to make it fun this winter.

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Make food into art

If you have kids and you watch shows on Amazon Prime Video, there is a good chance you’ve seen a show called Creative Galaxy.  Arty the Space Alien makes vegetables into art.  ALL THE TIME.  He even sings a song about it.  My crafty kids are obsessed.  Between this show and a few searches on Pinterest, you can have winter themed veggies all season long.  What a great alternative to sugar loaded treats for the holiday parties at school.

This winter, try making a Christmas tree out of blanched broccoli and cherry tomatoes.  Create a Santa Claus face with cauliflower, bell pepper and black olives.  Wrap green beans with natural bacon for the infamous “green bean bundles” we have every year.  Kids will love it when their food looks like their favorite holiday theme or wrapped up like a little present.  Adults will love the immune boosting B vitamins, phytonutrients, and vitamin C added to their kids’ plates.


Give your kids a Cookbook

If you give a kids a cookbook, they will ask to make a recipe from it.  They will happily taste the food they created without the “I don’t want to try new things” meltdown.  By choosing a cookbook with healthy recipes, not only does it give the kids a boost in the veggie eating, adults will find inspiration for healthier dinners, too.

Make a visit to the local library or purchase cookbooks for Christmas and birthday presents.  When I get really stumped on what to make for dinner or my kids just aren’t eating as well as they should, we dig out our favorite cookbooks for a new recipe.

Some of our favorite healthy kids cookbooks:

The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children: Teaching Children to Cook the Nourishing Traditions Way by Suzanne Gross and Sally Fallon Morell

Charming illustrations, step by step recipes kids love, and a real food education at their level.

The Paleo Kids Cookbook: Transition Your Family to Delicious Grain- and Gluten-free Food for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating by Jennifer Robins Predominately Paleo

This book is filled with allergy friendly recipes and less sweet treats.  Dairy, gluten, egg, nut, peanut, corn and soy free recipes fill the pages, along with great color photos.  Try the Brussel Sprouts, veggie “rice,” parsnip fries, and smoothies.  This is a fabulous resource for anyone transitioning a family to cleaner eating or paleo while still offering allergy friendly options.

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Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton  

www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

This book is packed with recipes in every category: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, treats. Creative recipes that go beyond green smoothies and kale chips–but thankfully those are represented here, too.  Vegan cookbooks are great resources for those with dairy and egg allergies.


Make Soup

My kids are really into soup and broth.  They will eat any veggie if it is in a soup.  If you are not sure your kids will be interested in a vegetable soup, try reading them the book Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. My kids re-read this book every night for a week and then asked me to make the pumpkin soup recipe printed in the book.


Some of our other favorite soups include:

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Serve Cauliflower Gravy

cauliflower-gravy-768x470
Cauliflower Gravy from The Paleo Mom.

I know this sounds crazy, but cauliflower gravy is amazing.  The Paleo Mom frequently hits it out of the park, and this genius recipe is no exception.  I’ve tested this recipe on both kids and adults and everyone adored it.

Instead of using flour to thicken your Thanksgiving gravy, simply cook cauliflower in some bone broth until it is soft; puree and serve.  This is an easy option for both gluten-free folks and kids that won’t eat their vegetables.  Whether you trick the kids into trying this recipe or let them help you prepare, I know this will become your favorite go-to gravy recipe.  The best part?  No lumps!  Get the recipe here: Cauliflower Gravy.


Play pretend restaurant at home, and serve veggie appetizers.

spinach-salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing Bravo for Paleo.  If strawberries are not in season, try using dried or fresh cranberries.

Playing restaurant and serving appetizers makes dinner time much more exciting, especially on cold winter nights when you are cooped up at home.  We often play this on evenings when daddy is away on business.

This favorite activity of ours happened by accident.  One afternoon we were headed home and our 4-year-old daughter wanted to go out to eat soooo bad!  The baby was asleep in the car, I was exhausted and my husband was not hungry.  I suggested we play restaurant at home.  After our 4 year old’s temper tantrum calmed down, she came around to the idea of playing restaurant at home.  Suddenly she was a Mini Martha Stewart, designing tablescapes, choosing dinner music, and putting out crayons and place mats “for the kids.”

You can set this up however you’d like, as long as vegetables are on the menu!  At our home, mommy or daddy usually plays the chef.  The parents or kids can be the wait staff.  The waiter will present the chef’s specials for the evening, and we always serve vegetables for the appetizer.  Whatever you do, though, don’t give the kids free rein to order whatever they want.  You are the highly paid, gourmet chef, and you do not accept modifications to your menu!

Here are a some ideas for veggie appetizers:
* Steamed Broccoli with salad dressing or humus
*Guacamole and Plantain Chips
*Ants on a Log
*Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsalmic Dressing by Bravo for Paleo

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Bonus Tip #6: When you go out to eat, order vegetables first.

If you happen to be at a real restaurant, order vegetables first.  Ask the waiter to bring the steamed vegetable of the day before even looking at the menu.  Instead of filling up on bread or tortilla chips, they can fill up on nutrition.

Food = ART www.morevegetables.com

What are your favorite ways to get your kids to eat their veggies?  Share with us your tips and tricks.  We may feature you on an upcoming article.  Contact Us.