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Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables

Have you ever made peas and carrots for dinner and put them on your child’s plate? If you have, then you now know the many ways children will hide these green and orange pieces from their plates. They will lose them on the floor. They will feed them to the dog. They will hide them in their napkin. They will scoot them under another item on their plate. Kids will try just about anything to not eat the peas and carrots sitting in front of them.

Take those same veggies and add them to fried rice or to fettuccine alfredo and all of a sudden kids gobble them down.

We love dips in my house. I make spinach dip, artichoke dip, broccoli dip and a cauliflower dip. Here are a few recipes for dips that my kids have enjoyed over the years:

Cauliflower Dip

1/2 head cauliflower

1 green onion with top, chopped into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons sour cream (you can also use yogurt or mayonnaise)

2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix (powder)

Break cauliflower into florets, for cooking. In medium saucepan, bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to stop the cooking; drain well.

In a food processor, puree cauliflower and green onion until smooth. Add the sour cream and dressing mix. Process 1 minute. Put into a serving dish and chill before serving.

Spinach Dip

1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed

1/2 cup chopped parsley or parsley flakes

1/2 cup green onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and chill overnight so flavors can blend.

Note: I use both light sour cream and light mayonnaise and it’s still delicious.

And finally, a very simple artichoke dip:

Artichoke Dip

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 can artichoke hearts, drained

Cut artichoke hearts into small pieces. Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees, about 25 minutes until melted and lightly browned.

Another favorite way to help kids eat vegetables is to put the vegetables into a marinara sauce. Cut the vegetables up fairly small. They will add a wonderful flavor to the sauce and the sauce will be nutritious for the kids. The sauce can go over any type of noodle. It can also be poured over cooked fish or chicken.

My final suggestion is to start a vegetable garden. Kids love to eat what they themselves have grown. When the child has helped water, weed and cultivate the garden, it is so much fun for them to pick the vegetables and then eat them. They are so proud to eat their own work.

These are just a few alternative to peas and carrots on a plate.

Published inRecipes