May 24, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green - Rainbow Veggies

Like adults, children quickly become bored of the same old side dish.  One can only eat so much rice, potato or steamed broccoli.  It’s nice to change things up once in a while.

In honour of spring (and fresh, local produce...YAY!!), we’ve recently switched from the usual steamed vegetables with lunch and dinner to raw veggies.  On the weekend I served up PC Southern Style Chicken Tenders with a huge veggie tray.  The boys chose their own veggies, making them more likely to eat them.  With a yogurt at the end, it was a delicious, filling meal.

Fresh vegetables, washed and cut up, ready to eat!
What I love most about serving a veggie tray with lunch or dinner is knowing that we’re all close to (or have met) our daily Fruits & Vegetables requirements.

Listed below are the daily Fruits & Vegetables requirements, as recommended in Canada's Food Guide:
Children ages 2-3 = 4 servings per day
Children ages 4-8 = 5 servings per day
Children ages 9-13 = 6 servings per day

To learn about suggested food requirements for each member of your family, visit where you will find an informative website and a printable version of Canada’s Food Guide.  You can also order a hard copy to keep in a handy spot in your kitchen.

Vegetables are full of vitamins, nutrients and fibre.  They fill you up and keep you full throughout the day.  It may seem impossible to meet your family's daily requirements, but this goal can easily be met by allowing everyone to munch away on a veggie tray during lunch or dinner.

  1. Allow your children choose their own veggies from the tray.  Children love to make their own decisions!  And even if they don't choose a large variety at first, they'll eventually want to try some new ones.
  2. Consider your child's age when choosing veggies.  Many can be choking hazards in their raw state.  Carrots are notorious for this.  A child choked on a carrot stick in my son's SK class and it terrified them.  Blanching hard veggies can make them safer to eat.  Check out my No Choke Carrot Sticks post.  I can even feed these soft carrot sticks to my 2-year old!
  3. Find age appropriate tasks that they can do to help, from washing the veggies in the sink to cutting them up.  When Big-Aturned 3, he became my official broccoli washer.  Making them a part of the process will make them feel important.  If your child feels important and involved when prepping the veggies, they'll be more likely to eat them.
  4. Double the amount of veggies that you're preparing and store the 1/2 in containers in the fridge.  You'll have on-the-go snacks ready at any time of the day, and you can easily toss a variety in a small container for your child's school snack or lunch.
Lil-J munching on a 'no choke' carrot stick on a trip to the park.

1 comment:

Lena! said...

I love it! Trying those no-choke carrot sticks this weekend - will let you know how they go over!