Calgarys Child Magazine Sept-Oct Back to School 2010 : Page 9

‘Veg’Out! If How to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables Nine ways to make produce easier for kids to swallow you’ve read anything health-related in the last ten years, you know there have been all sorts of trends when it comes to acceptable eating. Dairy, soy, eggs and bacon – all have seen their time to shine – until a new study or ‘Superfood’ hits the scene. But, some things never change. Your mother was right. You should eat your veggies. While dieticians and nutrition experts vary in their opinions about different aspects of food, they all agree on how vital fruits and vegetables are to good health. But, convincing children that eating vegetables is a good thing is a challenge that mothers have faced since the dawn of time. After some thinking, I came up with at least nine ways to make produce easier for my kids to swallow. 1. Stock up on fruits and veggies whenever there are good deals. Not only will the low price allow you to buy more, but if the kids don’t eat everything on their plates, you won’t feel so bad letting something go to waste. (It’s sad, but true.) Buy what’s in season to ensure quality and a fair price. If you find a low price on a new-to-you vegetable, that’s a good time to try it as well. Just don’t buy a ton of something you’re not sure the kids will go for – or you might be eating quite a lot of asparagus on your own. 2. Provide a bottomless fruits and veggies tray. If you Lemon and butter broccoli A very kid friendly recipe – you could do this for virtually any vegetable. 2 bunches broccoli, stalks removed, cut into florets 4 Tbsp. butter 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1 Tbsp. minced onion flakes 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice Steam the broccoli on the stove-top or in the microwave. Drain. In large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic powder and onion flakes. Stir well. Stir in can keep a platter stocked with sliced fruits and vegetables, you will find that the kids tend to eat more. Bring it out at snack time and during dinner preparation. It’s amazing how much they’ll munch when they’re hungry and when there aren’t less nutritious snacks around. 3. Find quick ways to prep your produce. There are the obvious convenience solutions such as buying baby carrots and prepared veggie trays. But, you can quickly cut up an apple if you slice around the core instead of through it. The same holds true for bell peppers and peaches. There might be a slight extra waste that heads to the compost pile, but if more is getting eaten, it’s a fair tradeoff. 4. Let the BY JESSICA FISHER kids help. Kids are more likely to eat what they’ve helped prepare. Plus, you’re giving them a life skill: food preparation. (Check out the recipe suggestions.) 5. Cook vegetables in a pleasing manner. While Helpful blogs and websites: foodwithkidappeal.com tammysrecipes.com fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov Helpful book resources: Food & Mood: The Complete Guide to Eating Well and Feeling Your Best by Elizabeth Somer. Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld. covering vegetables in a cheesy sauce defeats the purpose of feeding your family healthier food, there’s no harm in preparing them in a new and fresh way. Add sautéed garlic and a little olive oil to steamed veggies in order to boost their flavor. Drizzle on a little lemon juice. Seek out recipes that focus on fresh vegetables. A little extra work on side dishes may make them more palatable. 6. Disguise it. There are a handful of cookbooks out there that focus on the idea of hiding vegetables and vegetable puree in kid-friendly recipes. Brownies made with spinach? Or cauliflower slipped into mashed broccoli and continue cooking until seasonings are well distributed and broccoli is very hot. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Stir gently and serve. Honey-glazed carrots 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 2 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. brown sugar 1 Tbsp. honey Dash of salt In saucepan, cook carrots with a 1/2 cup of water, until carrots are tender. Drain off water. Add remaining ingredients to pot. Heat five to 10 minutes to glaze well. potatoes? It can be done -and with great success. One great place to start is to beef up, or should we say “beet up” your baking. Vegetables and fruits can easily be incorporated into your regular muffin or quick bread recipes. Consider stirring in canned pumpkin, applesauce or baby food plums in the place of some of the sugar and oil in a regular recipe. You may find that your family prefers this healthier boost. 7. Make it fancy. In catering, there’s a mantra: ‘presentation is everything.’ While it may not be absolutely everything, the presentation of a dish matters. Take a few extra minutes to section the grapefruit with a knife, cutting away the peel and pith and removing it from the membranes. There’s a whole lot of love in that five-minute operation and it makes eating the grapefruit more of a pleasurable experience. Think of ways to arrange salads or serving dishes in a way that is pleasing to the eye. It will be more fun to eat. 8. Visit the source. Whether you plant your own garden, shop at the local farmer’s market or visit a nearby farm, kids will be more excited about the foods they eat if they know where they came from. Plus, the fresher the food, the better it will taste. Ever eaten a homegrown tomato? There’s no comparison between those and the mealy, mushy globes you find at the grocery store. 9. You can lead a child to veggies, but you can’t make them eat. Unfortunately, you can’t force a child to embrace what you know is good for them. But, you can provide healthy options and teach them about making good food choices. Be consistent. Provide options and reduce their access to junk food. If you’re excited about good healthy food, eventually your kids will catch your enthusiasm. Your mother would be proud. Jessica is a wife, mother and freelance writer. She regularly writes about fun, frugality and the pursuit of a clean house at lifeasmom.com and posts delicious ways to ‘act your wage’ at goodcheapeats.com. CCM Calgary’s Child Fall 2010 Class & Program Guide Calgary’s ‘go to’ guide for extracurricular programs for children Fine Art Children’s Murals Commercial and residential Visit www.artwanted.com/sika for quality work portfolio Email sylviatheend@yahoo.com or call (403)667-5148 for estimates Childcare Calgary Do you seek childcare? Do you provide childcare? www.ChildcareCalgary.info September-October 2010 • calgaryschild.com • 9 FOOD & TRAVEL Jupiterimages/Goodshot/Thinkstock Photos: Broccoli: Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock; Carrots: MichaelBlann/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

'Veg Out!' How To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits And Vegetables

Jessica Fisher

If you’ve read anything health-related in the last ten years, you know there have been all sorts of trends when it comes to acceptable eating.Dairy, soy, eggs and bacon – all have seen their time to shine – until a new study or ‘Superfood’ hits the scene.But, some things never change.<br /> <br /> Your mother was right.You should eat your veggies.While dieticians and nutrition experts vary in their opinions about different aspects of food, they all agree on how vital fruits and vegetables are to good health.But, convincing children that eating vegetables is a good thing is a challenge that mothers have faced since the dawn of time.<br /> <br /> After some thinking, I came up with at least nine ways to make produce easier for my kids to swallow.<br /> <br /> 1. Stock up on fruits and veggies whenever there are good deals. Not only will the low price allow you to buy more, but if the kids don’t eat everything on their plates, you won’t feel so bad letting something go to waste.(It’s sad, but true.)Buy what’s in season to ensure quality and a fair price.If you find a low price on a new-to-you vegetable, that’s a good time to try it as well.Just don’t buy a ton of something you’re not sure the kids will go for – or you might be eating quite a lot of asparagus on your own.<br /> <br /> 2. Provide a bottomless fruits and veggies tray.If you can keep a platter stocked with sliced fruits and vegetables, you will find that the kids tend to eat more. Bring it out at snack time and during dinner preparation.It’s amazing how much they’ll munch when they’re hungry and when there aren’t less nutritious snacks around.<br /> <br /> 3. Find quick ways to prep your produce. There are the obvious convenience solutions such as buying baby carrots and prepared veggie trays. But, you can quickly cut up an apple if you slice around the core instead of through it.The same holds true for bell peppers and peaches.There might be a slight extra waste that heads to the compost pile, but if more is getting eaten, it’s a fair tradeoff.<br /> <br /> 4. Let the kids help.Kids are more likely to eat what they’ve helped prepare. Plus, you’re giving them a life skill: food preparation.(Check out the recipe suggestions.)<br /> <br /> 5. Cook vegetables in a pleasing manner.While covering vegetables in a cheesy sauce defeats the purpose of feeding your family healthier food, there’s no harm in preparing them in a new and fresh way.Add sautéed garlic and a little olive oil to steamed veggies in order to boost their flavor.Drizzle on a little lemon juice.Seek out recipes that focus on fresh vegetables.A little extra work on side dishes may make them more palatable.<br /> <br /> 6. Disguise it. There are a handful of cookbooks out there that focus on the idea of hiding vegetables and vegetable puree in kid-friendly recipes.Brownies made with spinach? Or cauliflower slipped into mashed potatoes? It can be done - and with great success.One great place to start is to beef up, or should we say “beet up” your baking. Vegetables and fruits can easily be incorporated into your regular muffin or quick bread recipes. Consider stirring in canned pumpkin, applesauce or baby food plums in the place of some of the sugar and oil in a regular recipe.You may find that your family prefers this healthier boost.<br /> <br /> 7. Make it fancy. In catering, there’s a mantra: ‘presentation is everything.’ While it may not be absolutely everything, the presentation of a dish matters.Take a few extra minutes to section the grapefruit with a knife, cutting away the peel and pith and removing it from the membranes.There’s a whole lot of love in that five-minute operation and it makes eating the grapefruit more of a pleasurable experience.Think of ways to arrange salads or serving dishes in a way that is pleasing to the eye.It will be more fun to eat.<br /> <br /> 8. Visit the source. Whether you plant your own garden, shop at the local farmer’s market or visit a nearby farm, kids will be more excited about the foods they eat if they know where they came from. Plus, the fresher the food, the better it will taste. Ever eaten a homegrown tomato? There’s no comparison between those and the mealy, mushy globes you find at the grocery store.<br /> <br /> 9. You can lead a child to veggies, but you can’t make them eat. Unfortunately, you can’t force a child to embrace what you know is good for them.But, you can provide healthy options and teach them about making good food choices. Be consistent.Provide options and reduce their access to junk food.If you’re excited about good healthy food, eventually your kids will catch your enthusiasm.<br /> <br /> Your mother would be proud.<br /> <br /> Jessica is a wife, mother and freelance writer. She regularly writes about fun, frugality and the pursuit of a clean house at lifeasmom.com and posts delicious ways to ‘act your wage’ at goodcheapeats.com.<br /> <br />

Sylvia Prochownik Art

 

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