Eating seasonally not only enhances the taste of the produce, but it increases the nutritional value of the crop while decreasing the need for preservatives and other unnatural additives. Produce that is in season is also cheaper, which is of course a huge plus.
Everyone is familiar with the movie scene featuring kids being forced by their parents to eat these horrible “green trees” and then furtively feeding these trees to the dog, who seems void of any dietary preferences. This has probably promoted the thought- How can I actually get my kids to eat vegetables?
Getting in an abundance of fruits and vegetables is so important because they are rich in antioxidants, which kill free-radicals, and high levels of vitamins that are essential for a healthy body. It’s no surprise that most Americans do not get adequate servings of these foods, inhibiting their own ability to fight off inflammation, disease vulnerability, energy, and aging. Not only will look your best
when you eat a diet rich in plants, but you will more importantly FEEL your best.
When kids are introduced to these foods from a young age as something their body needs, they won’t resist it later with such obstinence, and you will have instilled in them a lifelong healthy habit to practice.
If you or your kids have simply grown to have a distaste for most vegetables, or the word ‘salad’, there are still many ways to get in a sufficient daily dose of veggies without making anyone miserable.
-If you buy a pre-made smoothie from a store or restaurant, it’s likely to have a whole lot more fruit than vegetables. Fruit is great, but all that concentrated sugar can be disastrous for already-hyper kids. Instead, try substituting 1/2 of your normal amount of fruit and adding that half in vegetables. There are many vegetables that absorb the sweetness of the fruit and aren’t conspicuous in the smoothie, like: spinach, cauliflower, zucchini, sweet potatoes (actually enhances the sweetness), and squash. I love freezing these veggies to add into my smoothies because it increases the creaminess of the smoothie, mirroring the texture of ice cream!
To make smoothies more filling, add in some kind of plant based protein powder. My favorite is Vega. This protein powder tastes amazing in smoothies, oatmeal, and even baked treats. The Protein and Greens powder is my favorite; packed with alfalfa, broccoli, kale, and spinach- and you can’t even taste it!!!
-Here are some of my personal favorite smoothie recipes that include vegetables:
Green Goodness Smoothie
-Splash of almond milk
-Vanilla Plant- based protein powder (Optional)
Berry Well Smoothie
-Frozen, destemmed kale
-Frozen mixed berries (get mine in a big bag from Costco)
-1/2 Frozen banana
-Splash of almond milk
Decadent Delight Smoothie
– Cooked then frozen Sweet Potato
– 1 to 2 tbsp nut butter
– Splash of almond milk
– 1/2 frozen banana
2) Savory Dishes
-Instead of using chicken stock, switch over to vegetable stock;it is usually made up of veggies like onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and herbs/spices.
– Soup it up! Soups are an amazing comfort food and they are almost always easy to make. Best of all, you can literally add any vegetable into soup and make it taste good. I regularly make an ‘Everything but the Kitchen Sink’ soup when I need to use up produce that is about to expire. Add in lentils, beans, or tofu to the soup for a healthy plant-based protein source that will keep you full and nourished.
– Here are links to a couple of my favorite plant based recipes that rely on vegetables to mimic popular dishes that are typically filled with heavy cream, dairy, and cheese:
– Try out this deliicous and simple recipe by Kristen from the Endless Meal:
-Mac ‘n’ Cheeze
– This creamy Mac n Cheeze is soooo yum, from Lindsay’s blog Vegan Yumminess:
Because what kid doesn’t love dessert?!
-One of the best ways to add to the thickness or creaminess of a dessert is to add Avocado! This healthy source of fat provides you with healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamins C and E.
– Try this recipe for Chocolate Mousse created by Elena from As Easy As Apple Pie:
-Zucchini is another great addition to baked goods and sweets because of its moisture and fluffiness.
– Check out the recipe for these Incredible Vegan Brownies by Brandi from The Vegan 8:
Make sure to give some love to the recipe creators who I have linked throughout this post. The delicious recipes featured here make it so easy and YUMMY to incorporate more veggies into your kids’ everyday meals.
Let me know if you’re successful in sneaking in some vegetables into your kids’ meals….. and let me know YOUR favorite recipes that are plant based and rich in vegetables.
Thanks for reading,