Kids and Veggies

vegas-001I’m lucky that my kids will eat vegetables.  Okay, I’m not going to lie—the variety of vegetables they eat is not exactly huge.  Carrots, cucumbers, corn, peas, snap peas, some green beans, and a few other things I sneak in here and there.  But the last few times we’ve gone to the grocery store together, my five year old has been eyeing the produce section like a candy shop and asking to try various new things.  Most of them are actually things she’s eaten before, but either didn’t like them or doesn’t remember.  I have no problem saying no to the cookies, chips, and sugary snacks, but how on earth can you say no when your kid is asking for celery?

I usually try to do my grocery shopping/farmers market trips when the kids are at school, but lately I’ve been taking them with me and allowing them to pick out something new to try.  On our last trip, my five year old was dead set on creating a “recipe” for a new sandwich.  She went through the produce picking out what she thought would make a delicious combination.  Knowing I love BLTs, she decided to make a “BST” which included, of all things, broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes.  Not exactly the combination I would have chosen, but I was so flattered that she wanted to “make recipes like mommy” that I would have been game for just about anything.

We went home and got right to work.  I helped her carefully cut some florets off the giant stalk of broccoli, which we quickly steamed in the microwave.  We then set out to slice the strawberries and the tomatoes.  We talked about using a serrated knife for the tomatoes to easily cut through the “hard” skin, as she put it.  We toasted some bread and were ready to assemble.  She suggested some mayo, but I talked her out of that one, since I did actually have to eat the thing (mayo and strawberries was just not doing it for me).  Then it was taste-testing time.  I have to say it really wasn’t half bad!  She was excited to try her creation, although decided she wasn’t sold on the broccoli so ate around it.  I was just thrilled that not only did she want to “cook” but she wanted to use fresh fruits and veggies instead of marshmallows and chocolate chips.

The next time you head out to do your food shopping, consider taking your little ones with you and letting them choose something colorful from the produce section.  Then get them involved in the preparation of it as well.  I’ve found that when you make the children part of the process, they are more likely to eat what they’ve helped to choose and create.  Baby steps…but you’ll be on the right path to healthy eating with your kids.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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One Response to “Kids and Veggies”

  1. zoe p. Says:

    Aw. Don’t be afraid to take your kids. I remember riding in the shopping cart (I must have been small!) eating alfalfa sprouts while my mom shopped.

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