Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5 tips to get your kids on the veggie bandwagon

Monday, September 11, 2017 by The Press in Local News

It’s Pennsylvania Produce Month, which makes it an opportune time to help kids taste — and, enjoy — Pennsylvania’s fresh bounty.

It can be challenging to encourage little ones to eat healthy vegetables.

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these five fun, easy tips to help get kids on the veggie bandwagon. Check for more detail and recipes.

1. Veggie chips

These tasty treats are popping up in grocery stores everywhere, but savvy parents can save time and money by making them at home — no fryer needed. Try kale, collard greens and thinly sliced root vegetables, simply dressed with seasonings and citrus, or a creamy dressing, and baked in the oven until crispy.

2. Pureed veggies

Slip pureed, nutrient-rich vegetables such as zucchini, cauliflower or sweet potatoes into dishes and sauces like mac and cheese, tomato sauce, lasagna and mashed potatoes. It’s as simple as pureeing raw or cooked veggies with a little water or vegetable broth and adding them to the dish. They boost flavor, too.

3. Glazed veggies

Appeal to kids of all ages’ sweet tooth with a light glaze. Choose carrots, pearl onions, beets, turnips, parsnips or celery root to start. Simmer on the stove top with an inch of water, a pat of butter and a spoonful of sugar, which will transform into a glaze. For a twist, try maple syrup.

4. Multicolored veggies

Show kids it’s fine to play with food. Start with a rainbow of veggies such as purple carrots, multicolored tomatoes and bright yellow cauliflower. Challenge the kids to taste-test, and help them have a contest to see which tastes best. Including differently colored vegetables in meals helps to insure that the family diet is rich in vitamins and other nutrients.

5. Get down on the farm

One of the best ways to engage kids is to have them do the picking. Bring them to a local farm to see how vegetables grow. Spend an afternoon at a pick-your-own farm, then allow the kids to help prepare and cook them. They’ll be rushing to the table to try “their” work.

Want more? Check, and Like PA Veggies on Facebook (PAVeggies) and follow PAProduce on Twitter (@PAVeggies). Use #PAVeggies and stay up to date during Pennsylvania Produce Month.