Sometimes getting in enough servings of fruits & vegetables daily can be tough, especially for kids. I have tried to consistently offer fruit or vegetables or both at each meal throughout the day so that my kids are aware that they are part of a healthy diet and aren’t going away anytime soon. While my kids can be picky about certain things, I find that they both like a nice variety of fruits and vegetables.
Breakfast usually includes one serving of fruit. Hannah is big on blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes. Jon prefers strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes or if there is nothing else, a banana. Lunch will include another fruit and/or veggie, if packed for school or both if we are eating at home. Dinner usually includes a salad, veggie & fruit in addition to the protein and grain or starch. Now, of course there are exceptions. When we eat out, I don’t make the kids order a salad or fruit & veggie. Sometimes they choose to, others not. I know that at least 80% – 90% of the time they are eating well, so I am okay with them enjoying the few times we eat out.
Vegetables that are “acceptable” in our house are:
steamed green beans
steamed carrots (Jon) and raw carrots for Hannah
Peas (usually frozen & then steamed or tossed in risotto)
Corn (they prefer canned, I prefer fresh or frozen)
Mixed veggies (frozen – they pick out the green beans and lima beans)
I consider that a good variety for kids. They also love mixed greens for salad – I usually buy the Organic Spring Mix and they ask for seconds!! I do a sprinkle of shredded cheese (usually around 1 TBSP) and a few croutons (for Hannah) and crushed Glutino Pretzels (for Jon).
There are times when I bring a new vegetable into the house and I ask that everyone try it. Sometimes they really balk, other times they are all for it. I was sure that I would have Hannah’s support when I brought in our new vegetable this week.
Enter: Purple Cauliflower. The color made the chances of Hannah accepting it go up immensely. Hannah loves pink & purple, as most 7 year old girls do. The sign at the grocery store said that the taste was similar to broccoli, so I introduced our new friend as “purple broccoli”. If the word “cauliflower” were to leave my lips, my ship would have been sunk right there. Not only would the kids not have touched it, neither would Aaron. The texture of the flowers or “trees” was very similar to broccoli. The taste was also pretty similar to broccoli. I really liked it and Aaron said it tasted like broccoli. The kids were all for it initially, then they both declared they didn’t like the aftertaste. Well, at least they each tried and it had a serving of it.
Here is some more info on cauliflower from Wikipedia. I steamed the “purple broccoli”, but I bet it is awesome roasted! I love to roast veggies with just a little EVOO, sea salt & pepper.
The best thing about fruits & veggies – they are naturally gluten-free!! Gluten-free foods don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Some of the most delicious gluten-free foods are right under our noses in the produce department.