We’ve all heard how we need to be eating a rainbow and how important leafy greens are in our diets. But let’s face it…some days we don’t feel like eating them ourselves let alone coaxing our children to shovel them in. Here are a few tips I’ve found to help you and your children eat moreof those wonderfulGREENfoods:
1. Spinach for Breakfast. Yep, you read that right. My kids have spinach or some other leafy green for breakfast almost every day. If you have yet to try a green smoothie, trust me on this. You will never know the spinach is there! Our favorite is 1 – 2 cups water, a frozen banana, a few handfuls of spinach and a few handfuls of frozen berries with several ice cubes mixed in a blender.
2. Try it fresh. If your idea of green vegetables is slimy asparagus from a can or broccoli frozen with a fake cheese sauce, maybe you should try it again. But this time take that asparagus and roast it in the oven with some green onions and drizzled with butter. Or steam some fresh broccoli and taste its natural goodness. Foods really do taste better the way God created them.
3. Revamp your salad. Growing up, I remember my relationship with salad. A pile of tasteless iceberg lettuce topped with an anemic tomato and a sprinkle of American cheese and doused with way too much Ranch dressing. Fortunately, most of today’s restaurants serve a variety of greens, salad dressings and toppings; and salad tastes so much better not to mention its improved nutritional value.
Find out what your kids like and pile it on. One of mine can eat a whole cucumber in one sitting, so I chop it up and throw it on. Another one likes croutons, so I make them homemade out of my whole wheat bread and seasonings and put those on. We also use the veggies that are in season so they taste their best.
Take into account what your kids dislike as well. This may be as simple as peeling the cucumbers or finding a different dressing your child enjoys. One of mine balks if the lettuce is purple, so I just keep his green.
Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little blogging mixed in. After her family has been taken care of, she dabbles in her other passions of reading, health and music. She blogs about her life, her Heavenly Father, marriage, parenting and home at www.joyeverafter.blogspot.com.
Cascia Talbert is a devout Catholic, mother of five children, health and fitness enthusiast and positive parenting supporter. She is also the founder of the award winning online health, fitness, parenting and Christian faith magazine for moms, the Healthy Moms Magazine. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, five children and one spoiled cat. Her hobbies include gardening, country music, running, and playing her flute.
Check out her first book, "Taking Care of your Family's Health and Well-being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold.