Eat Your Greens!
How many times did you hear your mom say that one?? Or better yet, how many times do YOU say that now to your own kids?? It's as old as time itself and yet, it never gets old!
If your children or the children you work with are anything like mine, eating their greens is often the last thing they want to do! My almost-one-year-old has very little interest in green beans, peas, spinach and broccoli. Any type of fruit is usually a hit and she loves pasta — all shapes and sizes, but give little miss some steamed veggies and she makes faces and tosses them overboard.
Soooooo, I've needed to get creative. I refuse to allow her to live on carbs and fruit alone, so I've chosen more imaginative means to get her to gobble the greens!
Here they are:
- Juice them! I bought a juicer about 5 months ago and I love it. We juice all sorts of fruits and veggies and it's a great way to get your little one to consume them! I love coming up with novel combinations of fruit and vegetable juices. In all the "make your own baby food" books/articles I've read, making your own juice is highly recommended over giving a child store-bought, processed juice.
- Puree them! This is one of my favorites. I puree the desired veggie(s) and then mix it with a healthy spinach or multigrain pasta (I use it like a pesto sauce/paste) to add flavor and substance to our pasta dishes. My husband and I eat it with her and it's become a preferred meal in my home. There are several baby food purees on the market right now, so if you're lacking in time and energy, you could always buy your puree instead of making your own.
- Add them! Put more vegetables into your favorite dishes. Does your little one love macaroni and cheese? Add some steamed broccoli! Do they like scrambled eggs? Add some chopped spinach and cheese! Will your little one slurp up plain chicken broth? Add some chopped carrots and celery for flavor and color.
One nutritionist I used to work with often said that a child needs to be presented with a food at least 22 times before we can correctly ascertain that they do or do not like it. So if you have presented something once or even twice and it bombed, don't fret. Keep presenting the foods you want them to have AND eat these foods yourself in front of the child — model the behavior you want them to imitate. Happy Eating!