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Tips For Getting More Greens Into Picky kids....or Adults



There is no debate that greens are amazing for human health! They offer so many health promoting benefits and are an essential part of plant based nutrition . A common problem many new plant based parents face, is getting those greens into their kids...or themselves!



For seasoned plant based veterans , eating a whole head of kale in one sitting is an easy task. For any new comers to this lifestyle , greens can be tricky...especially with kids. I am very lucky that my daughter will eat pretty much anything out in front of her , but for those parents struggling to get those leafy greens into their kids..this post is for you!


First of all, don't stress! Most people in the Western world do not eat enough greens as adults....let alone kids. It might take time to get your kiddo used to the unique flavour of greens , but they eventually will. Here are some tips and recipe ideas to make the green transition, a little easier!


Lead by example


If your kids see you plowing though massive bowls of salad..chances are they will follow along. It's important to model what healthy eating looks like ,so they can understand it's importance . Talk about the benefits that greens have for their bodies and explain that your family will be incorporating them into more meals. Children like to model behaviour, so leading by example is a great place to start.




Lower your expectations


If you, or your kids are new to eating greens, don't expect either of you to inhale an entire bag of spinach in one sitting . Start small and work your way up to larger portions. This advice is more for the kiddos .....as a fully grown adult, I would say ...suck it up buttercup...eat your greens because you know that they are good for you. As adults, I believe we should have a little more account ability than a picky five year old. That being said, starting with one salad a day is better than none. Do your best and don't stress ! Like I mentioned early...few people are getting enough greens...the fact you are trying to incorporate more, is already a great start.


Hide them if needed


A great way to start introducing greens is to simply hide them in different meals. This is insure that you and your kids are getting all the nutrients. Here are a few ways incorporate greens while being sneaky.


Smoothies

The king for hiding veggies! You can easily hide a decent amount of green leafy goodness in a smoothie without comprising . I recommend using spinach to start and then upgrading to kale once the spinach goes down smoothly . Here is my fail proof green smoothie recipe:


3 large handfuls of spinach or green of your choosing

2 bananas (ripe and spotty )

1/2 frozen pineapple

1 cup frozen mango

1 Tbsp flaxseeds

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

Splash of plant milk (optional)

water to blend


Toss all of this in a high speed blender and blend on high for 1 minute . The end product will be bright green, cold , creamy and sweet! I drink one of these almost every morning and never get tired of it. This makes a decent sized portion, don't worry if your kids cannot drink the whole thing...any bit they get, will be a step in the right direction.



Training wheels salad

I have never heard this name used before for a salad...so I am claiming the name as my own. This recpie is a great introduction to salad for kids and babies alike . It incorporates a healthy serving of avocado with some greens folded in . The more accustom to this salad your kids get, you can slowly cut back on the avocado and increase the greens . Here is the basic recipe for this salad:


1/2 Avocado mushed

1 handful baby greens, spinach or kale chopped into confetti sized pieces

Squirt of Lemmon juice or a tiny bit of salsa ( mild of course )


Mix all this together to create a guacamole with greens hidden! Most kids will enjoy the creaminess of the avocado and won't even taste the greens . As time goes on slowly add more greens until the avocado turns into a dressing, instead of a mash.


Green oats

Another great way to incorporate greens without any texture! These oats are bright green in colour but, are creamy and sweet.


1/2 cup rolled oats

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 ripe spotty banana

1 cup spinach

1 cup liquid of choice


Simply blend the banana and spinach together with water or plant milk then pour over the oats and chia seeds. Mix well and top with fruit of your choosing.


I love this recipe because it is so nutrient dense and tastes more like dessert than breakfast.



Sauces

I don't have a specific recipe to share , but sauces are so versatile when it comes to hiding greens ! You can chop them into pasta sauce, blend them into cashew cream or add them to soups and chilis . The options are endless ! Get creative and try sneaking them into your little one's favourite meals.



I hope these tips helped spark some ideas for getting more greens into your kiddo's daily diet..or yours for that matter :) The health benefits of green leafy veggies are endless and it might feel frustrating trying to incorporate them at first, but it is well worth it ! Keep trying and take pride in knowing that you are offering some of the most nutritious foods on the planet .



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