July 27, 2011


  I admit, I used to be one of those moms who hid the vegies in it all- in biscuits, breads, sauces and even cakes.  But one day I said enough is enough and they have to eat them now otherwise as adults they will not realize the full taste of healthy food.  Yes, I got mean if you must say.  Do I care...not really.
 It was a little bit of a challenge but  we restarted life over- like a clean slate.

How I got them to eat vegetables....
1 Talk to them and explain to them,  lead by example.  Having adults eat chips and want the kids to eat healthy is not gonna fly.

2 Take them to farmers markets, let them talk to the people and see the fruits and vegetables.  Talking to who grows sometimes gets them going and excited to try.

3. Pull out a recipe book and let them look through and pick out a new recipe. Shop together at the store and follow the process through.  Give them  the recipe book with choices.

4. Have them help cook, whatever they can do, whether it be cleaning or stirring or shredding. They can help do what they can. A child who helps cook, tends to eat their food out of pride to try.

5.  Take them to a farm- teach them where food comes from, amazingly they get excited to eat blueberries and tomatoes when they get to pick and see what it is from.

6.  If possible when at the market, try a new vegetable once a week, learn the history, learn a fun way to eat. At least they are trying.  Spaghetti squash is a fun one to start.

7. Yes I still mix vegies in to things but the kids know  I make muffins with squash, or add zucchini strips in bread.  They know and help bake and try it raw ..I no longer hide.

8. One of my favorites is start a garden, now this year is our first and the heat and weather has  really played games. But they dream of feeding the world, and yes we have had tomatoes, green peppers and strawberries so far.  But I love the excitement of  ohhh momma this is gonna get so big and we can eat it.

9. Make dips to enhance the flavor, not  hide or add fat. I use greek yogurt as a dip and sauce. In the  greek yogurt I often blend spinach and other vegies to  add zip.

10.I know there are perfect moms out there, but being honest with my kids and only having healthy choices is a biggie to getting them to grab a healthy choice instead of a cookie.  My kids will grab a cherry tomatoe instead of a piece of candy, I smile because I am doing something right.

I admit, it would have been easy just to disguise the food, but I do want my kids to be healthy and grow to be healthy adults who know how to eat healthy from the start. My kids are not junk food eaters, they go for the healthy and I am so proud they make good choices now. 
They are at the point where they are  making the smoothies with fresh fruits and vegies all by themselves, and I smile because mom  is making an impact...the right kind of impact for healthy kids who make healthy choices.  Eventually they will learn to love and say #peasandthankyou for guiding them to make the right choices in life.  Maybe not today but trust me- they will.  Healthy kids make healthy adults.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to http://reading.socialmoms.com/PT-about) #peasandthankyou. 
About Peas and Thank You
Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. It's filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist—no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.” Sarah Matheny's delicious recipes and entertaining stories draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to her blog, peasandthankyou.com each month, where she makes raising a vegetarian family easy and fun. She is the author of  “Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.”

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