As the summer bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables becomes available, it is a great time to encourage your kids and entire family to get munching on these healthy morsels! So we put together some ideas to help get the veggies in the tummies.
1) Make a vegetable available at every meal. This time of year when we are on the go it is so easy to forgo a vegetable at a meal. However, by making certain to always offer something, you will be surprised how kids will warm up to all kinds of produce. I’m always amazed when the boys will munch down entire cucumbers, red peppers and carrots. Try cucumbers, thinly sliced zucchini, and tomatoes on sandwiches or burgers. Offer a wide variety of vegetables and hummus for lunchtime. Try placing baby carrots in the microwave for smaller children to make them easier to eat. And I love sneaking in a serving of vegetable for breakfast in an omelet or on a breakfast sandwich.
2) Of course this time of year it is preferable to have fresh veggies from the farmer’s market. But, if you can’t make it to the market or even the grocery store, I like to have a supply of frozen vegetables on hand. Put them in a microwave safe bowl with a little water and heat for just a few minutes. These days frozen vegetables taste great and are certainly better than no vegetables!
3) Grow your own vegetables and involve the kids. Just like cooking, if you involve the kids, they are much more likely to try new things. Even if you just plant some fresh herbs on your windowsill, at least you are exposing kids to the concept of growing, not to mention some fantastic new flavors!
4) Grill baby grill! I can’t think of anything that tastes better than grilled vegetables. Throw them in a grill basket, toss with olive oil and a little salt or fresh herbs and grill until slightly charred. Onions become caramelized and sweet (and kid friendly). Red peppers take on a whole new dimension and even eggplant tastes completely different. Make extra and toss the extras in a breakfast omelet the next day!
5) Make a meal of it. Take a trip to the farmer’s market with your kids. Come home and set out all the beautiful fresh vegetables. Add some hummus or white bean dip and you have an easy delicious summer meal.
How do you convince your kids to eat vegetables? Let us know below for a chance to win our favorite summer grill pan! (be sure to enter your correct e-mail so we can contact you if you are the winner!)