The kids and I are resolving to go back to eating more fruits and veggies. We’ve done this before, so I’m just writing a few notes for things that helped us make it work before, and will hopefully help us make it work again:
1) Make veggies the main dish rather than an afterthought. We always tend to plan on the main dishes of starches and proteins, and then just throw in veggies if we remember to. So you buy a bunch of veggies then forget to use them because they aren’t a part of the meal plan so much as something that’s added on. And then they get yucky and we feel bad and either don’t buy them again or force ourselves to eat them past their prime. If we actually make solid plans to use them, that doesn’t happen.
2) DON’T eat veggies that are gross. The kids and I looked in the fridge tonight after eating way too many cookies, and found some lettuce we’d forgotten about. “Ahah,” I thought, “we’ll redeem ourselves with salad for dinner.” Only the romaine had gone a bit bitter because of how long it had been in the fridge. Mary is my lettuce lover and even she was slightly non-plussed with her salad’s flavor. “Maybe it needs more dressing?” No, not really. I explained that we just didn’t use our lettuce in time, and I didn’t want them to develop some aversion to salad. Which is what led to our planning here.
3) On the other hand, DO give the veggies a good try each time. We used to say one bite per year of age before deciding something is really awful. I’m not going to stick with that anymore since I think my kids are mature enough to not reject something on basis of prejudice alone. I’ve just learned that veggies taste very differently depending on how they are prepared, so we might as well make a habit of giving them a go each time.
4) Sneak veggies in at breakfast: We can put pumpkin in muffins (I realize pumpkin is a fruit, but hey, vitamin A, people!), asparagus in an omelet, or go with or favorite: spinach in smoothies. Sounds gross? They really are tasty if you have a good recipe.
5) Sign up for a veggie co-op. I’d been thinking about joining one of the local co-ops for years, and I think the time has come to actually give it a go. Then we can make our plans based on what veggies we get, and have a great time experimenting with treats we might not have tried otherwise.
So on that note, what recipes might you have for veggie goodness?