After I wrote my New Years post last week, my friend Heather shared some of her New Years goals with me and asked for a few suggestions with a couple of things. One of her goals, which is a fantastic one, is to have a vegetable with every dinner. She has three young children who apparently are not big veggie fans. I think she's making a wise move by making this a priority now because getting a 10 or 11 year old to suddenly start eating veggies is much more difficult. We have a side of veggies or salad just about every night. The exception would be if we're having a one pot meal like a stir fry or a pasta dish packed with veggies then I might not bother with a salad. We have always put the veggies on the kids plates from day one and I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with how well they eat them. Certainly there are some they like better than others (actually aside from Kale I'm pretty sure Hayden will eat anything!) but I do ask them to take at least a bite or two. This strategy has worked well with Phoebe who tends to be a little pickier. A year ago she professed to hate Brussels sprouts and I'm happy to say that now I get a "yay!" when I say that they're part of the meal. She is not a big fan of beets but since I'm on a major borscht kick, I require her to eat one or two out of the soup each time. Maybe she'll never be a fan but maybe one day she'll decide she actually likes them. I think the best thing to do when trying to get the kids to eat their veg is to just keep offering it. Have them take a couple of bites. If they put up a stink, don't let them have more meatballs (or whatever) until they at least had a bite or two of their green beans (or whatever). Obviously if this causes a major freak out session then you need to look else where for advice on this topic but if you're kids aren't totally freaking and their not puking at the table I say go for it. For many, (mine included) a little bribe goes a long way.
So with all of that out of the way, there is one more MAJOR suggestion I have to get your family eating their vegetables, and that simply put is make them delicious! Don't serve up boiled Brussels sprouts and expect them to eat them. If they don't love broccoli, add it to your mac and cheese or in a flavorful stir fry. If they don't like steamed carrots, roast them. Roasted carrots are so sweet they're bound to like them. You have to try new things and dress them up until they get a taste for them. So today I'm sharing my roasted cauliflower. I've been the one in our family to be last on board with the cauliflower. I started eating it in the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese and gradually started eating it in many other ways (Except raw. Still not eating it raw).