How to Get Your Kids Excited About Vegetables (Really!)
At Body Ecology, our mission is to improve the health and happiness of adults and children. Along the way, we discovered Meg Brown, former corporate executive, single mom of two adopted boys and Body Ecology follower. Meg’s focus on empowering parents to create healthy, happy families is what inspired this Conscious Parenting column. You can follow Meg and her family’s journey at www.ConsciousFamilyJournal.com.
Vegetables are an important part of the Body Ecology lifestyle and every healthy family’s diet. Here are four easy ways to get your kids to eat more veggies!
Do you know any children who actually enjoy eating vegetables? I am acquainted with a few. I have a niece who appears to love them – she eats almost any green leafy vegetable with a smile on her face.
One of my son’s best friends consumes baby carrots like they’re candy. And a brother-sister team from across the street routinely polish off their dinner salads before even looking at the cheeseburgers on their plates.
Perhaps they are just being polite.
Perhaps my own children, when dining at other people’s homes, also impress the resident adults by eating all the vegetables in sight. I will have to check on that.
In the meantime, vegetable consumption is sadly still a bit of an issue at our house. I have to be creative, persistent and sometimes downright sneaky to get a reasonable amount of veggies into the boys’ daily diet.
Are vegetables really that important to your family’s health?
We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating vegetables: they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber in our diets and may help prevent illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and several types of cancer.1
The story doesn’t stop there, however. A diet rich in vegetables is important because it supports the neutral-to-slightly-alkaline pH levels in the body that signal good health.
When poor dietary habits – and stress – lower the body’s pH levels, bones release calcium and magnesium, and muscles are broken down to produce ammonia. This restores alkalinity, but the long term effect is thinner bones and less muscle mass.2
Let’s move on to the “how.” Here are 4 Easy Ways to get your kids excited about vegetables:
1. Plant a Vegetable Garden
It’s not too late to cultivate your own little patch of lettuce or field of cauliflower. Clear some space in the back yard, or create a container garden on your porch.
A family (or community) vegetable garden is a wonderful way to get kids excited about their veggies. I know that my own children are always more eager to eat something they have harvested themselves… hopefully, yours will be too.
2. Visit Your Local Farmers’ Market
Still waiting for that first lettuce leaves to grow? Don’t despair. Make a family outing to your local farmers’ market.
Here is what you will find: A great variety of fresh, organic produce, coupled with a chance to meet and talk with the people who grow the food that shows up on your dinner table. How cool is that?
Make a game out of choosing a new vegetable to try at home each week, or let each child select their favorites.
3. Design Your Own Vegetable Smoothie
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy cool, refreshing vegetable smoothies. Break out the blender and check out the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. What’s in there?
Try the Good Morning Greens Smoothie recipe for inspiration, then get creative. Encourage your children to design their own recipes. My kids love making smoothies for our family!
Remember to add fermented foods and drinks into your smoothies! Adding cultured vegetables or a sour, fruity flavor with a couple ounces of your favorite probiotic liquid multiplies the nutritional value of your smoothie. Probiotic-rich InnergyBiotic is my personal favorite.
Time to kick it up a notch? Boost the vitamins, minerals and alkalizing value of your vegetable smoothies even further with 2 ounces of InnergyBiotic per glass. Adding probiotic rich InnergyBiotic to your smoothie gives you a boost in nutrients AND energy, while adding a sweet and sour taste that satisfies. Learn more about InnergyBiotic and start making your probiotic-rich smoothies today!
4. Test Your Family’s pH Levels
Sometimes we need a little extra motivation, or a way to measure our progress. Perhaps just a tiny bit of healthy competition is in order.
You can purchase a pH level home test kit, like this one from pHion to check your family’s pH levels. The kit includes a testing protocol to ensure accurate measurements.
Remember, the goal is to promote healthy family practices. If your test results are not all that you hoped for, create a chart to map your progress and start eating more veggies!
I probably shouldn’t mention that my children enjoy peeing on the little test strips almost as much as charting their progress on healthy eating habits.
Oops, already said it.
- Inside the Pyramid: Why is it important to eat vegetables? (link to:http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/vegetables_why.html) MyPyramid.Gov.
- The pH Nutrition Guide to Acid / Alkaline Balance. (link to:http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_acid_alkaline_pH_0.html) NaturalNews.com.