Get Your Family to Eat More Greens!

If you grew up with the mealtime mantra of, “Eat your vegetables!” and now find yourself saying the same thing to your kids when it comes to daily doses of broccoli, spinach and zucchini – – take heart – – because now, you can dish up very sneaky vegetables in soup, salad, pasta and bread.

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids 2

Vegetables (including spinach, zucchini and broccoli) are the most health-promoting food group and if you aren’t eating them, you aren’t getting their amazing fiber, antioxidants, and powerful phytochemicals. Start kids out early eating their vegetables – – and eat them yourself, too, in vegetable soup, salad, pasta, and bread.

Create tasty times – – not trying ones for your kids – –  that foster an affinity for broccoli, spinach, zucchini and kale when added to  bread, soup, salad and pasta.Here are ways to go green at your family’s dinner table:

• In the Raw.

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids 4

Fresh vegetables out of the garden are tasty, but consider making broccoli and zucchini appetizing by cutting into bite-sized pieces  and serving with a spinach dip for dunking. Cool ways for kids to eat their vegetables include putting small pieces into cold gazpacho soup, quick bread (such as zucchini) and pasta salad.

• Pizza!

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids 1

A great way to add  vegetables to your kids diet is to put them into dishes they already love. Pizza is at the top of that list.  You don’t have to go “all vegetable,” but small pieces of broccoli, spinach and zucchini on your favorite pie adds more fiber and nutrients. Serve with a salad, vegetable pasta or soup and skip the cheesy garlic bread and your kids will have a meal they can really sink their teeth into.

• Soup!

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids

Nothing is quite as comforting as a bowl of warm soup. Add some great greens  – – broccoli, spinach and zucchini – – to that bowl and feed your kids  both body and soul. Use whole-wheat pasta for noodles and serve with a side of salad and warmed bread. This meal really cooks in the comfort zone.

• The Sauce Slip-in!

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids 5

 

Spaghetti for dinner is many kids amore. Finely dice vegetables  – – zucchini, broccoli and spinach – –  before adding them to the pasta sauce. The smaller you chop the vegetables, the less likely anyone will notice they’re in there. Serve with a side of minestrone soup, spinach salad and whole-wheat bread and you have a meal that’s satisfying and sneaky when it comes to vegetables.

• Pasta, Please!

vegetable soup, salad, pasta, broccoli, spinach, zucchini,  bread, kids 3

Pasta is pleasing – – whether cold or hot – – and your kids will gobble it up. If you’re not serving with a traditional red sauce that has extra vegetables in it (broccoli and zucchini), consider buying pasta that is made from vegetables, including spinach, for more fiber. Whether you’re serving pasta in soup or salad or with a tomato or cheese sauce – – figure out ways you can sneak more vegetables in, which can include zucchini bread for dessert.

• Fun Factor!

Kids don’t necessarily think, “FUN!” when they’re eating their vegetables, but you can help make it that way. Grilled skewers of broccoli and zucchini, a colorful pasta or spinach salad, heart-warming vegetable soup and sourdough bread broiled with tomatoes and cheese are all delicious ways to, invariably, get more vegetables.

And, as adults, be a good example! Eat your vegetable soup with broccoli, spinach and zucchini, devour your veggie pasta salad and bake zucchini bread with your kids. Your green-loving ways will speak louder than your words.

 

 

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