Advice

Seven Clever Ways to get your Kids Eating Leafy Green Vegetables!

Convincing your children that eating healfebruary green smoothie challengethily is a good idea isn’t always the easiest task. When they’re adamant that they’d rather fill their faces with sugar instead of the healthy snack that you’ve prepared for them, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, there are many ways to easily incorporate health foods into your child’s diet, without causing a fuss! Here are just seven of my favourites…

Smoothies
Smoothies are easy to make and taste great. Even kids who don’t usually enjoy eating fresh fruit will be happy to drink a smoothie, especially if made to look a bit more enticing with colourful ingredients. You can blend the fruit with some soy milk and even sweeten with honey or natural sugars to satisfy that sweet tooth. Another great bonus of this treat is that you can also chuck some nutritional supplements and also things like kale or spinach into the mix and your child will be none the wiser!

Pasta Sauces simplesauce
Pasta is a simple and inexpensive meal that the majority of young ones will be happy to eat. Sprucing up any pasta dish with a delicious sauce is another great way to get some nutrients into your child’s diet. Making your sauce from scratch is the best way to know exactly what is going into the meal, and this also this allows you to blend in extra vegetables and herbs at your discretion!

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Soupred velvet soup grassrootsandgrains8
Soup is a fantastic way to cram a lot of goodness into one meal. Home-made vegetable soups can consist of absolutely anything you want and adding flavours and stock will keep any recipe tasty. Garnish with a selection of herbs before you serve for an extra dose of nourishment.

Kale Chipsimages
Kale chips are an interesting and nutritious alternative to potato chips and make the perfect snack between meals. They are so easy and quick to make that you can whip them up fresh whenever your young ones get peckish.

15649993-assortment-of-salad-dressing-bottlesSalad dressing
There is a massive variety of salad dressings that can be made with leafy green vegetables. To do this it’s best if you have a high powered food processor to properly blend everything together. Fresh spinach leaves are excellent for including in a salad dressing and it’s also easy to add in absolutely any herb to compliment the flavour.

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There are some very high quality vegetable burgers in the supermarkets these days, try substituting any meat products your children are eating for a veggie alternative. There is a lot of protein to be found in leafy green vegetables so there’s absolutely no need to worry that your children are missing out by not eating meat!

Purees
If your child is still young enough to be eating pureed food then it’s easy to combine leafy vegetables into any meal. This also works for older children. For example blended broccoli is easily disguised into mash potato and you can chuck any vegetable into the blender with tomatoes to make pizza sauce. images

Remember, you don’t always have to be sneaky to encourage your children to eat healthier foods. Often leading by example is a great way to show them that nutrition doesn’t have to be boring. Also, making every meal time fun and creative is a brilliant way to get children excited about food. Use your imagination when it comes to nutrition and they’ll use theirs!

26 comments

  1. Absolutely agree with your last point. Children will follow your example. If they see you eating healthy, they will be inclined to do the same. I see it with my own children. They know all about fats, sugars, and carbs. That’s not to say we don’t splurge once in a while, but they do follow my healthy eating habits. And, if the junk isn’t in the house then they can’t eat it:)

    1. That’s great 🙂 it’s so important that parents set a good example for their children when it comes to diet and it’s fantastic that you’re doing so! Nothing wrong with a splurge every now and then either!

  2. I have an eighth way for you (and one which I’m sure your kids would love) – cake! Here’s my recipe for beetroot chocolate cake; it’s sweet, addictive and healthy because most of it is beetroot puree (though you can’t taste that it’s beetroot, so it’s perfect for smuggling in those vitamins – or baking with the kids if they’re open to experimenting with pink beetroot). http://thebellyrumble.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/beetroot-cake-experiment/

  3. My kids love stir-fry, especially with snow peas, carrots and broccoli, quickly cooked and still fresh and crunchy. They eat every bite which makes me very happy. I have been hearing a lot about kale chips lately and am excited to give them a try. Thanks for all of the great ideas.

  4. My friend’s 8 year old son was/is adamant about not eating any vegetables. My friend would always mash carrots, spinach, or other veggies into his mashed potatoes and he was none the wiser. He just thought they were more playful spuds, until… he caught her blending them. Needless to say he didn’t trust her anymore, but it goes to show that in his case it’s more of a mental thing not a taste thing. He is by far the pickiest person I have ever seen and I haven’t asked her what clever techniques she uses now that he won’t eat colored mashed potatoes.

    1. It is a dilemma when a child gets it into their head that junk food – good, healthy food – bad, but there is always a way to be a bit sneaky and it seems like your friend is staying ahead of the game! Thanks for stopping by, TJ

      1. I agree it’s a challenge. If there is a food I don’t like, usually it’s because of the way it was prepared, not the fault of the raw food. I’m always willing to give it another try if prepared in a different way. Children aren’t always so forgiving; one strike you’re out. The problem with junk food is that it usually passes the first taste test. It was engineered that way.
        I’m also a firm believer in leading by example. If kids see a parent acting squeamish to food, they are going to imitate that reaction. I also tend to notice if parents don’t like a certain food, the variety of kids’ food is limited because it isn’t purchased. If there is one thing I want to pass on to my children it is to be adventurous with food.

  5. Thankfully we don’t have any problems getting our girls to eat veg – a result of always giving them fresh veg as part of their meals right from being babies and from growing our own I guess. Great article by the way.

  6. Thanks for the follow! Yours looks delicious! All kinds of veggies can hide in lasagna, I know that already, I’ll have to try some of the others (my youngest is nearly 22…)

  7. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but
    I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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