I have decided to get more vegetables into our diet at home. We’re not getting enough. Considering I still eat vegan mostly, that may come as a bit of a surprise. I mean, really, vegans eat a lot of veggies, right? True, but I’m kind of stuck in a rut and not getting the really good kind. You know, the dark green leafy kind. The yucky ones. And I aim to change that. Also, the girls definitely need more veggies in their lives.
So I’m starting The Veggie Project. Here are my plans, one for them and one for me. Let me know if you have any other ways you
sneak get veggies into your diet.
Since I’m a grown up, I just need to eat them. Not so much sneaking involved.
1. Make Veggies Available
That means buy, clean, and cut them up so they’re all ready to eat. I’m good about the buying part, but I wind up not using them. I’m going to cut them up so they’re ready to munch on when I’m hungry. Plus, I’m storing them in the front of the fridge so I see them. No burying them in the back.
2. Have a Salad A Day
Simple. I’m going to use half spinach and half pretty lettuce (like a red one, not iceberg or romaine) so I get some good nutrients. I may add some lenticular kale sometimes. Most of the days it might just be a green salad, but I’m okay with that, greens are good. I’m using lemon juice as the dressing for now, because it’s easy and I’m lazy.
3. Eat Cruciferous Veggies
The cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts are super healthy, full of antioxidants and cancer fighting super powers, we probably all should be eating more of them. I’m starting easy. I like broccoli, so I’m eating that. I’m growing Brussel sprouts in my garden, so if they ever grow, I’ll actually eat them.
For the Kids
I’m resorting to some sneaking here. It’s for their own good.
1. Offer a salad at dinner every night.
They may not eat it, but at least it’s there. Sammy definitely at least tries it.
2. Get their favorites with pre-added veggies
Penny and Ella love hummus. So I get spinach artichoke hummus, extra veggies. I put out hummus for them to dip their other veggies in. So far, it’s not working, but I’m hopeful (and persistant).
Try some of the green juices instead of apple or orange juice. They’re sweet and fruity, but have things like wheatgrass and other good for you veggies in them. My kids favorite is Odwalla Superfood, they also like Naked Green Juice. Odwalla is a little thicker and sweeter.
3. Give ’em what they like
If they like peas or corn, give it to them, maybe mixed into a salad. I haven’t been very good about doing that, but if they want peas and corn, it’s better than no veggies, even if they aren’t quite so nutrient dense as the green veggies.
4. Sneak it into foods
We’re parents, we get to do this. I always thought I wouldn’t be one of those parents who hide things, but I want my kids to eat their veggies. Until they do willingly, I get to sneak it in. Maybe add spinach or kale to spaghetti sauce or puree some carrots and throw in there. Mix some butternut squash into their mac n cheese. Be devious, but get those veggies in there. They’ll thank you later. Or not, but it’s still good for them. My favorite sneaky recipe right now is smoothies. Never fails, my girls drink every drop.
1 ripe banana
about 10 oz frozen fruit, whatever you like, but include some blueberries they cover the green color
a handful of spinach (you can use kale too, but use only one leaf)
Vanilla flavored plant milk, enough to make it the desired consistency and amount (I like flax and hemp milk the best, soy works well too)
dump it into a blender and blend away. Use the chop feature first so the blade doesn’t break on the frozen fruit (learn from my mistakes).
Pour and smile as your kids get a healthy something extra and like it.
Do you have any good veggie sneaking recipes? How do you get you and your kids to eat veggies?