Making sure your kids get their daily recommended fruits and vegetables doesn't have to be a chore. These simple and quick tips can work for any parent on any budget.
With such a variety to choose from year-round, try adding half a peach or half a cup of berries for desserts or snacks. Add any variety of beans to your next salad, stew or soup.
Most kids prefer crunchy foods over mushy ones. Try raw or lightly steamed veggies to keep the crunch factor high! Light steaming also helps retain more of the nutrients lost during cooking.
Nowadays you can buy fruits and vegetables that are pre-cut for easy preparation and convenience. Keeping a cooler handy with such items are great for hungry kids in the car as well as preventing those unplanned trips through the local drive-through.
Use your blender. Fruit smoothies made with low-fat milk or yogurt are a great alternative to sugar filled sodas and juices. You can experiment with different fruit varieties and concoctions so nobody has to get bored!
More nutrition can actually mean more flavor. Try shredding carrots or zucchini into meatloaf or casseroles. Include chopped or diced veggies to pasta sauces or lasagna.
Think salad. Try a chef salad for lunch or even dinner. What about a fruit salad for dessert? Salads need not be a dull affair as there are so many vegetables that can taste great in them. Try chopped cauliflower or broccoli, beans or mixed greens. A little experimentation can bring surprising results.
Finally, what is in sight? Studies show that families that have fruits and vegetables around eat more of them. So, keep fruits and vegetables visible. Put a bowl of fruit on the table and keep cut-up carrot and celery sticks in a clear container in the refrigerator.