Food

3 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Greens

We all know our kids should be eating more leafy greens right?  Spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, and even fresh herbs such as basil, parsley and cilantro are some of the most nutrient dense foods out there. They contain disease-preventing antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help kids live a long and vibrant life - the darker the green, the better!

Unfortunately, parents typically have a hard time getting their kids to eat anything green and leafy. The bitter taste does take some getting use to, and leafy greens are tough for ounge children to chew.

I'm here to convince you not to give up on leafy greens! It may take some time, but introducing these flavours when kids are young means they will be more likely to accept them as they get older. 

o make sure that your youngster doesn’t miss out on the health benefits of leafy greens, ere are 3 easy ways to tart introducin them into their diet:

1. Green Eggs

Even if your child is too young to read Dr. Seuss, they will still enjoy green eggs for breakfast. Simply use your blen blend fresh greens with raw eggs, and then cook h egg mixture in a frying pan as you would normally.  Your kids will be eating vegetables for breakfast, and they won’t eally taste the difference.  

.   Pumped up Pesto

Why limit yourself to basil as the only green ingredient in pesto? Experiment with a variety of different leafy greens and herbs, such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard and cilantro. Your child will love this nutritionally charged pesto on everything from pasta to chicken, or used as a dip for crackers or fresh veggies. 

The key to these recipes is to go slow. Start with a small amount of a mild leafy green (such as spinach) and continue to increase the amount each time you make it . Eventually you will be able to move on to stronger flavoured greens such as kale or collard greens. 

3.  Green Smoothie

Green smoothies have become quite popular, and for good reason. Mixing a handful of leafy greens in with a blend of fruit and other healthy add-ins is a great way to add a nutritional boost to your child’s diet, especially for bus parents.  And it tastes delicious too, a perfect meal or snack for kids who are resisting greens.  For some great green smoothie ideas (and some green-less smoothies too!) check out my 21 Day Smoothie Guide – more details below.

emember - as tempting as it is, you should not be trying to "hide" the greens in your child's food. It's important to always be honest with kids when it comes to the food they are eating in order to establish healthy eating habits. Your kids may never ove all things green and leafy, but ith time they can lear accept them as a normal part of a varied diet nd benefit from their superfood properties.    

Sarah Bester, CNP