At least that is what some children would have us believe. It is a challenge to make sure our children get a variety of fruits and vegetables and a healthy helping of greens, but with some creativity and flexibility we can ensure they are included in our children’s diets.
First, never underestimate how much green you can put in a smoothie! We have found that adding a banana cuts the sometimes bitter taste of kale. Adding pineapple can make any smoothie or green drink better, and with ice and coconut milk you practically have a dessert!
There are so many yummy “green smoothie” recipes on the Internet and once you have a favorite you can use it as a go-to delivery system for greens. While there is some controversy about “hiding” veggies I say emphasize the positive and share with your child how delicious and healthy their smoothie is with all of the ingredients.
Next, think outside the box. While Nori (the seaweed used to wrap sushi) doesn’t immediately come to mind when we think of greens, it sure does provide another great option for our children. We’ve made wraps with Nori and while they get a bit messy it is another way to get in some greens. Other ideas could be Kale chips and Butter Lettuce wraps in place of a traditional salad.
Finally, don’t be afraid of sauces and dressings. In a perfect world all of our children would happily eat spinach salad by the pound, but sometimes a little Ranch needs to help things along. Watch the ingredient list (no HFCS, please!) and let your child dip away. When it comes to good nutrition, remember, we as parents need to offer healthy options over and over, so don’t give up! As your child is exposed to different, delicious foods they will find new favorites and increase the number of foods they eat willingly on a regular basis.