Passing Veggie Love on to Your Kids

Today we have a guest post by Anne Pryde, a Natural Nutrition Consultant and Certified Professional Cancer Coach, and the proud owner of Clean Temple Wellness Studio.  She lives with her family in Hatchet Lake Nova Scotia.

When a client comes to see me for the first time, no matter what their initial reason is for the consultation, our conversation inevitably shifts toward family and children.  One of the questions that most often asked sounds something like this: “My kids hate vegetables. How can I make sure they are getting enough nutrients from plants?”

I’m fortunate that my three year old is interested in eating some vegetables so I have it a lot easier then most. She is happy to have cucumber slices, peas, steamed carrot sticks (called soft carrots), and occasionally will eat a “greenie” (lettuce). Other vegetables need a little extra coaxing (potato, squash, cabbage), and then there are a few that she feels are completely out of the question (parsnips, zucchini, and eggplant).   Pureed vegetable soups are usually a hit, but can get tiresome. Try pureed leek and pea soup, turnip and cabbage soups can use up the last of the winter stock, roasted sweet potato and carrot soups are usually a favorite with kids because of the brilliant colors.

When it comes to ensuring she has a good base of veg for the day, my number one trick is a daily green smoothie with breakfast. Most kids will take anything that is blended and poured into a cup. Add a straw and you will be the coolest grownup in the world.

For more variety I’ll often try to sneak her less loved veggies into various recipes. Some times it works and she gobbles them up without hesitation.  I’ve tried sneaking parsnips into a load of recipes, but nothing seems to work. Somehow she knows they are there and will say things like, “Did you put white carrots in this? Mama I told you, I do not like white carrots” (imagine an angry face accompanied by a foot stomp).  With summer coming, I can give up on parsnip wars for a few months and turn my focus to the more subtle flavors of summer.

I’m currently on a mission to add eggplant to her meals and came up with what I think is a brilliant idea: eggplant hummus. Most kids like to dip their veggies in hummus or other dips. So I thought, What if I just added roasted eggplant to something I know she loves. This worked.

Eggplant Hummus
1 small container of homemade hummus (about 1 cup)
2 small eggplants
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup fresh parsley

Slice the eggplants into rounds and bake with the garlic cloves in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes turning over half way through baking.
Place the roasted garlic, eggplant, parsley and hummus in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth.

You can use this as a dip for corn chips or veggie sticks, or stir it into four cups of brown rice and serve with steamed broccoli and carrot sticks for a full meal.

Anne Pryde is the owner of Clean Temple Wellness Studio
RHN (Natural Nutrition Consultant)
CPCC (Certified Professional Cancer Coach)
Anne is also volunteer chair of the EAC Garden Party Fundraising Event

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