Kids Eating More Vegetables

Our Family Goal for 2012 is to Eat Less Meat – I think as Americans we eat too much meat.  So this year I will be adding more kid-friendly vegetarian recipes to our weekly meal plan. So far everything I’ve tried has been a success, we’ve increased our vegetable intake and I can already feel a difference in my body.

I started with a veggie filled tortellini soup which included tomatoes, spinach, asparagus and a cheese filled tortellini. Then I discovered a collection of Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes from Martha Stewart. I was a little disappointed that so many of the recipes are so carb heavy and don’t actually contain any vegetables however, there area few good recipes that I’m excited to try. Like the Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas we had for lunch, we included tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, feta, and mozzarella. Then for dinner we had Black-Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish. Jude devoured that, avocado and all. Both were big hits. Joe even said he wouldn’t mind if they made their way into the regular meal rotation. We were both surprised with how filling both were.
I want my boys to be good eaters. I want them to try new things and have an appreciation for more than just chicken nuggets and french fries. It’s not always easy to get Jude to try new things but typically once we persuade him to try it he discovers that it’s delicious. The more we expose him to healthy food options now increases the chances that he will make good diet choices later in life. 

I’m a firm believer that if a child is hungry they will eat almost anything you offer them. That is why I try to offer new foods at the beginning of the meal. If I put everything on Jude’s plate he will immediately devour his favorite thing and then have no interest in the new, strange food on his plate. I also try to use positive peer pressure instead of punishment or forcing him to try it. I want him to be excited about trying new foods so it shouldn’t be a chore. I will admit that we do occasionally use bribery because… well it works. All the work is worth it when he declares, “mommy, I love abacado!” or “more hummus please.”

What is your favorite family-friendly vegetarian meal?

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