8 Kid-Friendly Veggies

Let’s face it, kids and veggies don’t often mix, but they are a necessary part of a healthy balanced diet.  So how do parents get their kids to eat veggies?  With some creativity and thought you can come up with something kids will eat, whether by the fun factor or the presentation.

Undercover

Most everyone likes cheese, so sometimes you just have to throw some on a veggie to make it more appealing.  Both cauliflower and broccoli can be served steamed with cheese sauce.  This will do the trick much of the time.  Another way to get kids to eat broccoli is to serve it raw to dip in ranch dressing.  Dipping is fun, the dressing makes the broccoli more palatable, and it gets more veggies into your kid.

Another great undercover snack is anything with peanut butter.  Celery is a popular base for peanut butter.  Some fun extras to add are raisins, nuts, and cranberries to create “bugs” on a log, as long as they don’t mind eating “bugs!”  Other veggies to use for the “log” are carrot sticks or cucumbers.  Bananas also go great with peanut butter.  Combine for a great sandwich or toast, or in its “natural” state.  Just scoop some off a spoon with the banana and enjoy.

Kid-Friendly Veggies

Play With Your Food

Slice a sweet potato in thin slices and bake in the oven until crispy.  Although they won’t look like conventional potato chips, they taste great and are a great snack that delivers vitamins A, C, and B6.  Another way to serve sweet potatoes is to bake or microwave, mash, and add a sprinkle of white or brown sugar and butter to sweeten up your sweet potato to make it go down easier.

Carrot “fries” are another undercover vegetable kids will love.  Cut carrots into fry shapes with a crinkle potato cutter, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  These taste great and although kids will know they are not French fries, they are fun to eat so most kids won’t mind.

Pizza is a kid favorite usually, so have kids help you whip up a personalized pizza with an English or pita crust and top with tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and various cut up veggies such as roasted red peppers, red onion, diced tomatoes or Roma tomato slices, basil leaves, mushrooms, and green onions.

Baked potato head from the microwave decorated with grape tomatoes for eyes, peas, pretzel sticks for arms and low-fat shredded cheese to make a smiley face is a fun dinner.  Kids will enjoy helping you in the kitchen and have fun with Mr. Potato Head for dinner.

In the summertime, there is an abundance of fresh veggies from the garden or the local farmer’s market.  Mix up a dinner salad, with help from the kids, with leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins or cranberries, and low-fat cheese.  Supply a kid -friendly dressing, such as ranch, put each ingredient in a separate bowl and let everyone make their own to their liking.

Another way to incorporate veggies is to add them to something kids like to eat, like in a sandwich wrap.  Add some type of leafy greens and shredded carrots to meat and cheese with a splash of dressing or other condiment and roll it up in a whole wheat tortilla.

Some kids love veggies, but most do not care for them quite that much.  Most of the time kids, even ones who previously ate some vegetables, will at some point turn them down flat.  So get creative and boost the healthy in your kid’s diet.

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Easy Chicken Soup

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For moms who are dedicated to making a healthy meal for their families every night, and can be difficult to find new recipes that are both easy to make and that are in your budget. Making soup or stew is an easy dinner that is both healthy and uses ingredients that are affordable. Chicken soup is a recipe that is quite versatile and can be easily changed to make it very hearty without much effort. The following is a description of how classic chicken soup can be changed into a hearty chicken noodle stew.

The first thing you will need to do is dice up three cups of celery, two cups of carrots, one cup on onions, and 2 cloves of garlic. Melt four tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a large soup pan and add the celery, carrots, onions, and garlic to it. Let this simmer for a few minutes, and then slowly add a half cup of flour to the mixture. Once this is mixed in, pour two 32 ounce boxes of low-sodium chicken stock into the pan and bring to a gentle boil. While this is boiling, cut up one cup of zucchini, one cup of green beans, and open one eight ounce can of corn (or equivalent frozen). Add these three things to the pan as well. Season everything generously with salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Allow this to simmer for about ten minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, you can begin working with the chicken. Cup up one pound of chicken (preferably beast meat) into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat four tablespoons of olive oil or butter a frying pan, then toss the chicken into the pan. Cook the chicken until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from the heat and set to the side until the next step is completed.

Once the chicken is done, scoop out one third of the veggies from the soup pan and place them in a blender. Purée them until they are smooth and then pour them back into the soup pan. This will make your stew extra thick and creamy. Mix the chicken into the stew along with twelve ounces of dried pasta. If you would like, use alphabet pasta to make it fun for the kids. Allow this to boil until the pasta is fully cooked. For best results, serve the stew hot with a loaf of crusty bread.