I can recall the night I offered my daughter Brussels sprouts for the first time. She spit them out and insisted that I forgot she was allergic to them! Yes, true story. While I continue to work on Brussels sprouts, my kids do love their veggies. Here are their top ten, why they love them and why I love that they love them.
Why they love them: “They are sweet and crunchy and also good cooked.”
Why I love them: Cooked or raw, carrots are an easy one for many kids. Loaded with vitamin A and potassium, it takes just 1/2 cup of carrots to meet a child’s daily needs for vitamin A.
Why they love them: “They’re juicy, yummy and crunchy.”
Why I love them: Many children like cucumbers and I try to use this to my advantage by making cucumber and yogurt dip or a cool cucumber soup. Not only does this remind my kids that there are many ways to enjoy foods they love, it helps me use ingredients they already like to round out my meals.
Why they love them: “I like them in salad.”
Why I love them: Peppers are rich in potassium and vitamins and an easy, colorful addition to a salad or fresh vegetable plate.
Why they love them: “I like to pop little tomatoes in my mouth,”
Why I love them: Grape tomatoes, off the vine, red or yellow…my kids just love tomatoes. Fresh or canned, tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that is associated with cancer and heart disease prevention.
Sugar Snap Peas
Why they love them: “They are crunchy and it’s fun to pull the peas out.”
Why I love them: Fresh, sweet and refreshing, sugar snap peas are the easiest addition to a quick meal. They are also the easiest to drop in a baggie so that I can add veggies to my children’s lunch with very little effort!
Why they love it: “I love to eat corn on the cob,”
Why I love it: Corn is a versatile vegetable that pairs well with other ingredients, such as beans, that some children don’t favor. It is also a simple carbohydrate that is delicious and sweet “as is” straight off the cob. Help your children develop a healthy habit and enjoy the natural flavor of corn by passing on the added butter and salt.
Why they love them: “They are soft, juicy and smell good.”
Why I love them: My kids favor the new LOVE Beets that are found in the produce section of most markets. Offering the deep rich color of beets without the time needed to roast them, they are the perfect “something different” for my children.
Why they love it: “I like to line them up like trees.”
Why I love it: Broccoli is loaded with potassium and vitamins C and K. Raw, steamed or sautéed, it is a versatile vegetable that can be added to many recipes. If your children tend to push broccoli aside, try adding it to something they already love such as pizza or a baked potato (yes, adding a little bit of cheese helps too!).
Why they love it: “You can put it on pizza.”
Why I love it: Grilled, broiled or lightly breaded, eggplant is very versatile. And yes, in my house we add it to pizza or paninis!
Why they love it: “It’s chewy,”
Why I love it: Many children prefer greens that are light in color and crunchy such as iceberg or romaine, which is fine and better than not eating any greens at all. If you are able to add a darker green such as baby spinach, however, you will be able to make their salads more nutrient rich.
Looking for some great ways to work in more veggies for your kids? Check out our roundup of recipes especially for kids!