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Do You Eat Your Fruits & Veggies?

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 broccoli
  • 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.

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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.

8 comments to Do You Eat Your Fruits & Veggies?

  • Amanda

    Do your kids eat salad veggies like tomatoes, cucumber, celery, peppers? My girls both love those just to eat, as in veggie tray. If they are already cut up and cleaned, the girls will eat them all day.

  • Michelle

    I've told multiple people recently that the best thing about gluten-free eating for me is all the wonderful fruits and veggies I'm now eating — and consider my special treats. For instance, I've rediscovered brussel sprouts. Yummy! I commend you for getting so many fruits and vegetables into your kids' diet. I try do to the same, but I admit I often have to hide them.

  • Kim

    Amanda – they won't eat tomatoes, peppers or cukes, but Hannah eats celery & raw carrots. Jon would before he had braces, but they are too hard now.

    Michelle – I often have to conceal stuff. For example, I made taco soup once and they all scoffed at it. I tossed it in the blender the next time & they all loved it. Same stuff, different presentation. ;)

    Andrea – They didn't like roasted broccoli, but they do like roasted carrots. I may try doing that with the purple cauliflower next time. :)

  • I probably get in more than the recommended amount of veggies since I love them so much! :D

    Do you think they would go for roasted stuff? I tend to roast all veggies (I love purple cauliflower!) and it tastes so much different than steamed or blanched. Sort of approach it the way you would grilled veggies, with a bit of olive oil and whatever seasonings you like.

  • Pat

    Our kids would taste a little of what they continued to see us eating. They just had to taste it, not take a lot.

    They steadily added to what they would eat — even though what we had to work with (years ago!) was not nearly as interesting as now. Purple cauliflower? Wow! Roasted? I love your ideas!

  • I MUST score some Purple "Broccoli!!" I too, do not care for cauliflower, but broccoli is right up my alley! Where did you get it?

  • Thanks Pat!!

    Heidi – Got it at Meijer! I love their produce department – much better than Kroger or Giant Eagle.

  • With my kids, I have found that they are far more willing to eat most veggies if they are raw. Today, for example, we were having black bean tacos for lunch and my daughter walked into the kitchen, picked a leaf of kale (I have a bunch in a vase on the counter), and added it to her taco. I wrote about helping kids make better food choices recently on my blog: http://lostartskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/05/food-

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