Help my family eat more veggies! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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We are a family of four, kids are 2&4 y.o. We are trying to be frugal and far too often skip veggies for convenience. It is horrible, and we want to give our kids better habits and a taste for veggies.

What veggies do you serve with dinner and how do you cook them? Ideas, recipes, recommendations, would be great!

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#2 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 08:26 PM
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We mostly eat what is in season... so winter squash type of things right now... or frozen veggies. I almost ALWAYS roast them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Every veggie gets this yummy, concentrated, and caramelized flavor. Dd is not a picky eater, so we eat a lot of different veggies. I probably couldn't list them.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-26-2010, 06:09 PM
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I have a few suggestions. My four year old dd is a very picky eater. So here are a few things that help us.

1. I know that she loves corn on the cob so even though it can be pricey, I buy frozen corn on the cob frequently that I make just for her to go with dinner. She doesn't like corn kernels nearly as much as she likes it on the cob. So I'm willing to splurge a bit to get a veggie into her. So if there is a veggie your kids like, I say to go with it!

2. We serve raw veggies with dinner a lot. My whole family would prefer to eat raw broccoli and carrots than cooked.

3. I try to get my daughter to help me prepare the veggies and then she is more interested in eating them. Since she always helps me prep the brussel sprouts, she loves to eat them now.

4. I have the Deceptively Delicious cookbook where all the recipes call for hidden veggie purees. I have a few recipes that I use often from that book including mac and cheese with squash and oatmeal with sweet potato. I like that this gets veggies into her but I don't think it helps her develop a taste for veggies so this is not my main focus for getting veggies in. In a similar vein, I put spinach in smoothies and you can't taste it.

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#4 of 11 Old 01-26-2010, 06:17 PM
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We eat a lot of stir-fried dishes, pastas, stews and curries so it's easy to add extra veggies. I keep bags of frozen veg in stock as they're cheaper and there isn't any waste. Also, tinned beans can be added to a multitude of dishes.

I agree with the poster who suggested roasting veggies. I could happily dine on roasted carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes every day.

What kind of meals do you like to eat? Knowing that might help with making suggestions.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-29-2010, 02:27 PM
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I have 3 children and my 5 year old is the pickiest eater of them all!
So, my mother in law sent me this heavenly cook book " Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfield" It is amazing! It is now my cooking bible. She teaches you how to sneak veggies into everything! I have even tried these recipes on my sons kindergarten class and they had no clue that they were eating a snack they love, packed with what I love
Awesome! I suggest every mom get this cook book
I still offer veggies and the rule in our house is you at least have 2 bites of everything. But when they eat the smallest bites ever i still know they are getting the amount of veggies and fruits they need.
Good luck!
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#6 of 11 Old 01-29-2010, 02:37 PM
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I agree that eating seasonally is the way to go! Right now, in addition to squash, that might include cabbage, kale, chard, brussels sprouts, cauliflower.

I personally like my veggies cooked, with a little butter or olive oil, and additions like garlic, nuts, bacon, herbs, or vinegar. My daughter mostly likes them raw. You'd be amazed what you can eat raw! She'll eat celery, carrots, bell pepper, peas, jicama, tomatoes, broccoli that way -- even green beans.

We also eat a lot of green salads. Sometimes she wants hers with dressing, and sometimes she just eats lettuce leaves.

A lot of kids like their vegetables with a dipping sauce, like ranch dressing (easy to make, you don't need to buy the bottles) or hummus.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 06:48 PM
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We eat sweet potatoe chips. I slice them, put them into tupperware with a tight lid, add olive oil and cinnamon. Shake the container until all the potatoes are coated. Spread onto a cookie sheet then sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350 for about 45-60minutes. Delicious!!! My ds can't get enough of them.

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#8 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 10:01 PM
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A couple of years ago, I did two things that changed my thinking about veggies. I started trying to eat more in season, and I had to cut our grocery budget.

So, what happened is that it expanded my horizons beyond steamed broccoli alongside a meat for supper. I add veggies to lots of things now.

We had beef stew this week. It had mushrooms, regular onions, and pearl onions in it.

One morning, I made eggs. I added (frozen) spinach, a (frozen) tomato, scallions, and some peppers to the eggs.

If I make spaghetti, I'll add veggies to the sauce. If I make stuffed shells or lasagna, the ricotta has spinach in it. If I make Mexican food, I'll add veggies to the filling, as well as top with salsa/pico de gallo (depending on the season), and sometimes guacamole.

Thinking differently works for us. I just try to add veggies to whatever I cook. I rarely (as in once a week or less) make a "separate" meal of meat, starch, and veggie side. Mostly, at least 2 are mixed together in some sort of way. (To be truthful--I have one picky and one not picky child. I often separate out the components before cooking for my picky one. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. I also always offer the mixed food. Sometimes he likes it, often not. But, I keep trying).
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#9 of 11 Old 02-24-2010, 04:34 AM
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I highly recommend taking just about any veggie, tossing it in olive oil or a little melted butter and sprinkling with salt, and roasting at 400 until a caramelized and cooked. Even veggies I never, ever would have roasted, turn out great roasted. Spring onions. Broccoli. Cauliflower. brussel sprouts. They taste wonderful!! I also love roasted sweet potatos (but it's more like making a baked potato in process. stab. bake. slice open. add butter and salt. eat.)

We do a lot of stir fries, soups, and all in one dishes. I grew up with pasta, chicken and brocolli in seperate piles, but it doesn't work well for being frugal. We throw all kinds of greens into all sorts of stirfries and soups. We literally start 98% of our dishes with sauted onions. (the only ones I can think of that don't off the top of my head are when we have hummus pita and feta for dinner, and ummm that's about it. even pizza starts with caramelized onions here.)

Eating fresh seasonal produce also makes such a huge difference. the difference between carrots straight from the farm, or that have been sitting in a box forever is huge. (with carrots, see if your farmer's market or store has them with the tops. you want to take the tops off when you get home, but they indicate freshness.)

try sauted veggies with a little butter or olive oil and some salt. this also works for a lot of different types of veggies, and tastes great. I love kale and pretty much all greens this way, carrots, onions, and more.

also not overcooking veggies if you steam them or boil them. overcooking is the death of veggies, particularly brassicas (cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccolli, cauliflower).

serve veggies with plenty of fat and salt.

ETA: oh and sauted greens and sauted onions scrambled into eggs are amazing!!

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#10 of 11 Old 03-13-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Great ideas, thanks mamas! Would love to hear even more!!
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#11 of 11 Old 03-13-2010, 11:45 AM
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To roast the veggies, do you just put them in a baking dish in the oven at 400 degrees? Also, can you do this with canned & frozen veggies or just fresh?
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