Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three Ways To Sneak Your Kids Vegetables

Two out of my three first swear-words were said about vegetables.

I remember them clearly because of the heavy silence that followed.  The space between crime and punishment.  Those seconds seem to last forever as your eyes dart between the horrified faces of your parents and grandparents.

The first one was used at the age of six to describe the unpleasant tactile experience of consuming a lima bean.  The second one was dropped about two years later.  I wanted to add emphasis to my unwillingness to consume a slice of meatloaf with bell peppers in it.  It worked.

Parents, hopefully your kids aren't as bad as I was.  I'd like to provide a list of kid-friendly veggie recipes in the hopes that it alleviate the tug-of-war that so often accompanies the phrase...

eat your vegetables or no dessert

hide them in the spaghetti
Tomatoes are nightshades, so in macrobiotics we try to limit our consumption because they're very acidic.  Some studies have even suggested that they increase arthritis-related pain.

That being said, most kids are used to their spaghetti with tomato sauce, and they won't eat it if the red stuff is missing.  Lucky for us, tomatoes have such a strong flavor, they cover up everything.  Water-saute carrots, onions, zucchini, and even turnips until very soft.  Run the veggies through the food processor and do fifty percent spaghetti sauce, fifty percent veggie mix.

tuck them in sushi
Sushi is everywhere these days.  Kids like it because the white rice is sweet, and sushi restaurants and grocery stores often load the vinegar the rice is soaked in with sugar.  If you can make your own sushi at home, it's quick, fun for the kids, and a great way to sneak in veggies.  Instead of seaweed, try wrapping your sushi with three steamed collard green leaves, overlapping.  I'll do a photo demonstration of this soon.  The sushi won't stick together quite as well as seaweed, but it's a delicious and sneaky way to get kids to eat steamed greens.

stick them in the dessert
Steam a butternut squash and puree with a few tablespoons of brown rice syrup, some cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little pinch of salt for a delicious pudding.  I also love this Avocado Chocolate Pudding/Ice Cream.

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