Eating healthy is easy, even with picky children and grownups who do not like to eat their vegetables. These simple tips will help add more nutritious veggies into your dinners.
Adding vegetables that are not so bad to something you already like is a good start. Mushrooms or extra tomatoes on a pizza, peas in the casserole, or a few extra raw veggies on your salad are good ways to get a little extra nutrition on your plate. Find a mild tasting vegetable that you like, such as a carrot and adding it in small pieces (and small amounts) to soups or sauces helps add vitamins, color and texture.
Get the family involved. Have everyone pick a night to make a menu, even the children. Set up guidelines such as there must be a meat, starch and vegetable and get their help in the kitchen. Having choices and making a dish seems to make eating the dish a whole lot easier, even if it involves something green.
Don't just cut veggies up--grate them. I put finely grated carrots and sometimes zucchini into spaghetti sauces, lasagna, even soups. Chayote squash has a very mild flavor and can be grated into just about anything, even banana bread. Sauces are great for hiding grated veggies. Just make sure that you really cannot see it and be clever. Minced mushrooms might be noticeable if you sneak them into an Alfredo sauce, but maybe not in a brown gravy over meatloaf. Meatloaf itself is a wonderful dish that can hide a bunch of different veggies.
Try juice. There are a number of juices now that add veggies into fruit juice and not only taste great but add nutrition and vitamins. On the juice aisle and with the refrigerated juices there are lots of choices for even the pickiest children. Just watch the sugar content, as some juices, even if they are 100 percent juice, have a lot of sugar.
Eating a sit-down meal, with all the family at the dinner table, lets everyone focus less on the food and more on conversation. Each person gets a little of everything, even the veggies they don't like, and there's plenty of seconds. Family dinners let everyone catch up on each others' day and take the pressure off of watching who is eating what. Eating vegetables does not have to be a chore and it does not take a lot to get the nutrition you need.