A simple, purées beverage became the savior in our house to helping our kids consume veggies, so I am going to share my secrets. But first, it’s an age old dilemma (but so real!)…how to get your kids to eat vegetables. We are certainly not the first parents to grapple with this issue nor will we be the last. It seems the battle between kids and parents over the consumption of vegetables plagues all households at some point. Our family is no exception. We have four kids, from ages 2-16 and have fought, pleaded and begged with each of them to eat their veggies! We’ve tried everything…roasting veggies, sautéing them, covering them in dip but we didn’t reach success until we found smoothies.
We believed in setting a good example, not making anything off limits and encouraging our children to view food as nourishment for their body.
Before I go into our experiments with smoothies let me explain our philosophy on vegetables. Like all things at The Positivity Charge we approached feeding our children from a place of positivity. We believed in setting a good example, not making anything off limits and encouraging our children to view food as nourishment for their body. We’ve tried to help them develop a positive relationship with food. I love the concept of setting a good example. I ask them to help me make freshly pressed veggie juices and exclaim with excitement the vibrant colors that nature provides. They see my husband adding spinach to everything he eats. And they are never surprised that when we visit a friend or family, we have a quinoa salad in tow. Vegetables permeate all parts of our lives. Planned outings to our local farms, documentaries on Netflix and children’s books filled with bright vegetables are the norm for us. But does all this translate into kids that choose vegetables over chips? Nope! While veggies are constantly in front of them, they still would prefer junk. So we began researching and discovered smoothies (cue angelic singing and praise!).
Introduce Foods Early
With the birth of our third child, I knew I wanted to introduce smoothies to him early and hopefully give him a great start to loving vegetables. When he was old enough I concocted a smoothie of yogurt, frozen wild blueberries, fresh spinach, frozen cauliflower and squash. He loved it and as he grew older you could him chanting “smoothie smoothie” whenever possible. I felt like I had overcome a huge hurdle! While our two older children were still warming up to the idea of smoothies, I had figured out how to get my little one hooked! Soon baby #4 arrived and the same smoothie strategy was implemented. Another one in love with smoothies, drinking veggies and happily doing so.
Soon I started my Instagram feed @joggerof4 and this took my family’s smoothie consumption to a new level. My older kids suddenly saw me posting pictures of my smoothies and wanted to try making their own. The power of social media had a positive affect on my children’s vegetable intake! They were creating their own recipes, asking me to buy smoothie ingredients and not pushing away vegetables but embracing them in these frosty sweet treats. Fresh baby spinach, frozen riced cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, pumpkin, even beets were suddenly in everyone’s diet without a single complaint. The best comment I often hear is “this is so yummy! I can’t taste the vegetables!” While I would love my kids to react this way to our huge dinner salads, it does give me peace of mind to know that everyday they’re eating (and enjoying!) vegetables in their smoothies. We each have our own favorite recipes and make our own unique smoothies. The general recipe we follow is: 1-2 c frozen fruit, 1 c fresh greens, 1/2 c frozen veggies, 1-2 c liquid, 2 tbsp protein. Then we either enjoy our smoothies in a beautiful fancy glass or in a bowl topped with bright fun toppings (like chocolate, peanut butter, fresh fruit, etc).
I don’t think we’ll ever stop trying to get our kids to eat a diet positively full of vegetables but until they embrace it we know they’re starting their day with a healthy dose of vegetable positivity. Cheers!
About The Author
Meaghan Arnold Dunn, mom blogger
I am a veggie enthusiast and I jog through life with 4 kids. My passion is sharing my journey with others.