Monday, April 18, 2011

Lets get Sneaky with VEGGIES and FRUIT

Okay, I will be the first to admit it... I'm one of those mommy's who tries to sneak extra fruit 
and veggies into my kids any way I can! My middle child is one of the pickiest eaters around, 
and if its not Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, she doesn't want it (will for the most part).  So I have
been doing alot of searching on how to get some vegetables into to her and my other children with 
out a big fight. 
Here are some great ideas I have been trying that seem to work and a few that I will be trying
to get my children and the ones in my care to eat more veggies and fruit.

We all know by now that we should be eating five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables each day 
according to Canada's Food Guide. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?
Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience
and junk food. If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on crackers or a bowl of 
pasta instead of trying a plate of steamed broccoli.    
Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and 
ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. 
Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. To make it even more 
appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t 
believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast. To make this even more fulfilling for you 
to know they are getting all the vitamins they need, toss some spinage in there too.  I don't know to 
many children that will eat half a cup of raw spinage or even cooked but when putting it into a smoothy 
it doesn't change the taste of the drink (it will make it bright Green though) but gives you all the great 
nutrients you want you family to have.
Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to
your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your hubby's briefcase and keep some trail
mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. 
Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced 
apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, 
cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by 
combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread. 
Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons
as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their 
own perfect salad. 
Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the
fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail
hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail 
umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went. 
Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots 
of fresh or frozen fruit. 
Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter 
or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch 
dip. And of course there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese, cheez whiz, or peanut butter on 
the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack). 
Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little 
luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try 
artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department 
of your local store. 
Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They 
qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they loose 
a turn and Mom gets to pick. 
Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and 
vegetables in no time. 
Here is another couple of tips:  Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure 
you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on. When you buy your 
groceries and wash your fruit and veggies take some extra time and cut them up right away.  This way
they are ready to offer at the moment your little one says “I'm hungry...” or the instant they walk in the 
door from school.  This way its easy for both you and your children to grab them and hand them out
 instead of waiting till the cut up for them. You can even go one step further and place them in snack 
size baggies right after you cut them up.  This way your family can help them self's and it often makes 
younger children feel good about themselves that they can grab something with out having to ask and 
you once again get the satisfaction of knowing its healthy for them!

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