Growing healthy food, cooking healthy food, and eating healthy food … they’re all passions of ours. In fact, it’s those passions that motivated us to turn to farming in the first place.
Events like Wichita Health & Wellness Coalition’s We All Eat give us the perfect opportunity to spread a little inspo to help make feeding our families healthy food easier and more approachable. Since we grow vegetables, it seems like the perfect fit to talk about ways to ensure we’re all reaching our daily requirements of veggies. Did you know a three-year-old child requires 1 cup of vegetables per day? His 34-year-old mother requires 2 1/2 cups (I know, we’re getting really specific with ages here 🙂 ). Visit chosemyplate.gov to see all the requirements broken down by age.
If you’re like most people, after you look at those requirements, you’re probably thinking you need to UP your vegetable intake. The answer, in a nutshell, is really quite simple. Eat vegetables at every meal. Provide vegetables to your family at every meal. Yes, even breakfast. Definitely start with breakfast. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Add leafy greens, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot, beet, or sweet potato to a smoothie. Perhaps try my Swiss Chard Milkshake or this Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie.
- Veggiefy your oatmeal! I’ll admit, I kind of have a thing for this. Rarely do we have a “normal” bowl of oats in our house. I’m always adding parsnips, or zucchini, or cauliflower to our porridge. Carrots + apple make a yummy combo too.
- Add vegetables like leafy greens, beets, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, winter squash & zucchini to muffins and pancakes. Try the Green Smoothie Spinach Muffins here on our site, or try the Cocoberry Pancakes & Banana Pumpkin Oat Pancakes on my food blog, Mama Makes Food. Another yummy muffin recipe is this Grain-Free Sweet Potato Muffin from my friend Taesha from The Natural Nurturer.
- Put veggies in your eggs too. I’ll often make a frittata with all the vegetables or simply chop up some spinach and throw it in our scrambled eggs.
Another option for veggies at breakfast time is to simply serve them alongside. It’s not uncommon for a side of steamed broccoli or roasted sweet potato to accompany our morning meal. If you have picky eaters, this may take some getting used to for them. One strategy I use is to just play it completely cool. There’s some veggies on the plate, so what? I don’t make a big deal about it or even mention they’re there. I enjoy my meal and my son sees me happily eating vegetables. If that’s all the farther it goes, he’s still been exposed to the veg and that’s highly important.
Stay tuned for PART 2 of our How To Increase Your Family’s Veggie Intake series, when we’ll chat a bit about other ways to incorporate veggies into snack time, lunch and dinner, as well as share some general tips for eating healthier everyday.