Posts Tagged ‘food choices’

Tasty Tuesday: 5 Fun Ways to Get Kids Eating Veggies!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

We all know how important it is to have a diet high in fresh, whole foods, including lots of vegetables! Veggies are chock-full of vitamins and nutrients that have significant immediate and long term benefits.

Although we also know that sometimes it’s a struggle to get veggies into our kids. Here are 5 fun ways to encourage your little ones to enjoy vegetables!

1. PRESENTATION: Putting out a plate full of raw, freshly chopped, colorful veggies can entice kids to munch and nibble on veggies for a snack. Many kids prefer to graze throughout the day, so having healthy options readily available for them such as a veggie platter can avoid the constant opening of the fridge and pantry doors as they rummage for food. My kids’ favorites are red pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and carrots.

2. DIPS and SAUCES: If a beautiful veggie tray isn’t quite enough on it’s own to get your little ones excited about eating veggies, try adding some fun dips to go along with them. Hummus is one of our favorites, but many kids like a ranch style dressing.

3. SMOOTHIES – Cannot say enough about smoothies. They are such a great way to get all kinds of healthy things into your family’s diet…even things that don’t taste all that great. Fruit seems to mask almost anything in a smoothie. Frozen fruit is even better as it gives a nice, creamy textures to a smoothie and is extra refreshing!

4. BURRITOS – Another food that is easy to hide all kinds of veggies in is a burrito! You can dice up veggies in a food processor into super small pieces and sneak them into your kids’ burritos. I feel like my kids are happy with anything wrapped in a tortilla.

5. OWNERSHIP – Giving kids ownership over their food can definitely impact food choices. This could be planting a garden, shopping together at a local farmer’s market, or even having them prepare snacks/food for themselves. I have one friend that whenever I visit her I am amazed at how self-reliant her children are in preparing themselves a healthy snack. For example her six year old will pull a red pepper out of the fridge, slice it up on a cutting board, put it on a plate, and sit at the table to eat it…and then put his plate in the sink when he is done. Obviously she has taught him how to do this and while that took a little time on the front end, the end result is well worth the time investment!

What tips and tricks do you have to help encourage little ones to eat more veggies? Would love to hear from you!

-Sarah

 

Tasty Tuesday: Vegan Breakfast Hash

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What you eat for breakfast is an important choice that effects your entire day! The word breakfast literally means “breaking the fast” of the night. Therefore opting for a highly nutritious breakfast serves you well by properly refueling your body for the new day and positively impacting your food choices for the entire day. Too often when we don’t give our bodies the proper balance of nutrients that it needs for optimal functioning, we start to crave junk food for its high sugar and fat content. Avoid that trap by starting off your day with a healthy and tasty breakfast. As a breastfeeding mama caring for small children, it is especially important that you are eating well! 🙂

Personally I get a little burnt out on oatmeal, so this recipe for a “vegan hash” is a nice breakfast alternative. It takes me just a long to make as a bowl of steel cut oats, although a little more prep time is required.

Ingredients: 

Olive Oil

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 sweet potatoes

2 cups of prepared black beans (or one 15 oz can of black beans, well rinsed)

1 Tablespoon Mexican Seasoning

Salt and Pepper, to taste

chopped cilantro, optional topping

Additional optional add-ins: chopped onion, red pepper, and/or jalapeno pepper

Directions: 

Saute garlic in olive oil. If you are using onion and/or pepper add them now and saute for a few minutes. Add black beans, seasoning, and sweet potatoes. Stir together and add a small amount of water (approx. 2 Tablespoons or more if needed). Cover and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes until sweet potatoes are softened. Top with chopped cilantro.

This hash is tasty as a stand alone breakfast or you can serve it with a side of quinoa or sauteed greens for some added “oomph”. Enjoy!

-Sarah