“Lettuce Turnip The Beet” – Unknown
What is it about the color green that makes kids instantly turn up their nose? My favourite vegetables are green—the darker the better. But for my little ones it has been a struggle to get them to eat anything green.
Green vegetables are packed with insoluble fiber, vitamins and minerals which is why parents try so hard to find ways to get kids to eat them. Turning kids frowns upside down when they see the color green on the dinner plate is harder said than done. But the health benefits of green vegetables makes the struggle worthwhile.
Dark green vegetables like peas, asparagus, celery, kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, swiss chard, avocado, arugula and more are chocked full of antioxidants and plant nutrients. Eating green vegetables is one simple way to keep your family healthy and prevent disease.
How Much is a Serving Size?
Children age 2-13 should have 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and adults 7-10 servings. And according to the Health Canada Food Guide most serving sizes are approximately ½ cup.
Tips to get Kids to eat Vegetables
If you have a picky eater you will want to find a way to ‘hide’ the vegetables in order to stop a dinner time war. Here are two of my tricks: Make protein shakes with vegetables and fruits, and add blended vegetables to homemade pasta sauce.
Start offering green vegetables early and frequently in a child’s food journey. It can take up to 12 times of offering and trying a food for a child to finally say YES! And eat it all up.
To make life a little less stressful, Dr. Sears says to look at your child’s diet over the course of a week. Knowing that you have a balanced weekly diet helps on the nights your little ones refuse to eat anything but cheese and apples.
I was given a great recipe to help increase the amount of greens in my children’s diet. I call it the Tasty Spinach Muffin Recipe. I made a few ingredient changes and we LOVE the result.
I am no baker and I actually do not like to cooking when a strict recipe is needed. Following a recipe is best left up to my husband. So my husband made these with the girls the first time and they turned out great. You can easily change up some of the ingredients to make it your own.
Tasty Spinach Muffin Recipe
- 2 organic free range eggs
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil (melted)
- 2 very ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups steel cut rolled oats, uncooked
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 ½ cups baby spinach (or your favourite mixed greens) loosely packed
- ¼ cup organic 3.5% milk or dairy free option (almond, cashew, coconut)
- Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with liners or butter. We like butter in our house
- Combine all ingredients in your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth with a consistent color
- Pour mixture evenly into muffin tins
- Bake for 15-20 min or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin.
- Transfer muffins to a cooling rack
- Enjoy warm or cool – we ate ours warm with organic butter. VERY YUMMY
These muffins can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to one month. But unless you make lots they will not last long enough to get to the freezer.
Get creative with your muffins. You can add seeds, nuts or even chocolate chips to the recipe depending what your family likes the best. If you keep them nut free they are a great addition to your kids lunches.
Also try out my protein muffins that have just three ingredients HERE.
Post a picture of your green muffins and I hope your kids loved them as much as mine.