If you have young kids, you’ve probably been ’round and ’round with them multiple times about eating a balanced diet. The “good eater” is a rare thing, after all, with most kids preferring french fries to broccoli any day.
You’ve probably also read all of the tips on how to be a “good example” by eating your own vegetables, enforcing the “one-bite rule,” “making food fun” and getting kids to choose their own vegetables at the grocery store (is this something super moms have time to do?). Instead of tips on how to make vegetables more exciting, what you really need are some recipe ideas that will make your kids crave the cauliflower, beg for the beans and ask when you’re going to make that pasta with all the pretty colors again.
So, if you’re tired of the cajoling, the whining and wasting money on food your kids refuse to eat, here are five menu ideas that will have your kids coming back for seconds.
1. Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna
This smooth and cheesy recipe is perfect paired with a simple salad and also makes for great leftovers. Try doubling up on the spinach for a greener and more healthful meal. It’s so delicious, your kids won’t even notice the vegetables inside.
2. Cauliflower Bechamel
This recipe is great because you can get an entire head of cauliflower into a highly versatile sauce and no one is the wiser. Your kids like mac & cheese? Slowly melt cheese into this sauce, mix with macaroni, top with more cheese and bake. Want to add some extra veggies into the mix? Add some finely chopped broccoli, spinach or peas so your kids can pick out the green stuff if they want, without realizing they’re getting vegetables anyway. This sauce freezes well and can be used anywhere you’d use a cream sauce. (Pro tip: For a richer sauce, use milk instead of broth or water.)
3. Pot Pies
They’re easy, comforting and so, so yummy. Whether you use chicken, turkey, tofu or some other protein, be sure to throw in lots of healthy veggies. By chopping the vegetables very small, kids will be less likely to notice they’re eating something good for them.
4. Fruit & Veggie Popsicles
Here’s an easy way to get more vegetables in your kids’ diets. Combine kale, spinach, peas or even sweet potatoes with fruits and a bit of sweetener, and then run it all through a quick blend. Take that concoction and freeze it and you’ve got a wholesome summer snack your kids will love and you’ll feel good about.
As the saying goes, everything’s better with bacon, so if you and your kid eat it, try adding bacon to vegetable recipes to coax them into eating. One example are these zucchini boats with bacon gremolata.
If grocery costs are a concern for you, try these tips on how to eat for less than $6 a day. Saving money on food can help you stick to a budget plan, pay down bills, consolidate debt and reach your financial goals. A sound management plan can also efficiently subsidize your food budget plan for alleviating debt.
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