As a mother of two I have always been adamant about making sure my girls eat and love their vegetables. Now that my daughters are 11 and almost 14 they choose to eat salads and fresh vegetables every day, several times a day. I am extremely grateful for this because I know how important vegetables are to the overall health of children and adults.
This year I am serving on the Hidden Valley Ranch Parent Panel as a paid spokesperson and I am thrilled about it. Why? Well, it's because this program encompasses two things I love most on earth: vegetables and dressing. Honestly, I could happily eat a salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and be perfectly content as long as I have a delicious dressing to accompany my veggie fare. That's me, though. What about your children? Do they eat enough vegetables?
Here are three easy ways I got my daughters to adore vegetables.
1. I started early. From the time my daughters could eat solid foods I let them eat raw vegetables. Sometimes it would be thinly sliced carrots or mushrooms. I can still remember my daughters' little fingers picking up small pieces of celery and chomping them up with their tiny teeth and chubby cheeks. So cute!
2. I let my daughters get involved. At dinnertime I always bring my daughters into the kitchen and let them make salad for the family. I let them take ownership of the salad making. They choose the type of lettuce we are going to make our salad with as well as all of the vegetables that will go on top. Sometimes it's plain iceberg lettuce salad with tomatoes or a more fancy arugula salad with fresh mushrooms, broccoli, and red peppers. It's whatever strikes their fancy. Our daughters are also the decision makers for the salad dressing we'll eat each night with our salad. Allowing them to own salad time makes them love vegetables even more.
3. We shop for unusual vegetables at the grocery store. One of the things my daughters love to do is finding unusual vegetables at the grocery store. It's fun for them to discover a new vegetable, typically from another country, and then when we get home hurry to find out how to prepare it. This is so fun for them. Plus, it's my secret way of making sure when they're older they don't find themselves wondering what a certain vegetable is on a dinner menu.
One of the things my daughters love about vegetables is knowing they can eat as much of it as they like and they're not going to harm their health. They can eat a big bag of carrots and I'm perfectly fine with it. Or completely munch through a brand-new container of mushrooms (and they have) and it's okay.
What are some things you are doing to get your children to love their vegetables?