Cooking Magic for Kids

Ventura County Earth Day


Secrets to enticing kids to eat their veggies

The secret to enticing kids to eat their veggies is to get them involved in the cooking and /or planting process. When my granddaughter was a toddler, I steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower cut in pieces she could pick up. I let her stir the veggies together with butter and seasoned salt. The bright green, orange, and white colors were attractive on her plate and she enjoyed using her hands to eat them. She still loves her veggies!

1.       Food Corps reports 100% of kids who plant, grow, and pick a carrot, will eat a carrot. When kids see the miracle of the seed growing into the vegetable and invest time enriching the soil, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting, they can hardly wait to taste the results.

2.       Fresh picked, organic produce is more colorful, smells better and is tastier than frozen or canned produce. Some veggies like cherry tomatoes or corn are delicious eaten fresh picked.

3.       Veggies steamed lightly, leaving a little crunch are yummier than veggies boiled to mush, are easy to prepare, and contain more vitamins and minerals.

4.       When kids pick, wash, and steam their own veggies, they can hardly wait to eat their own preparation. Local organic produce has more nutritional value, is tastier, and helps the environment.

5.       Kids enjoy being prep cooks, and enjoy helping with the meal someone else is cooking.  Just stirring the preparation, like my granddaughter as a toddler, gets them involved. They are invested in the project and want to try the results.

6.       Steamed cauliflower and carrots mashed with potatoes, salt and butter are a hit with kids. Mixing veggies in the blender to make a sauce or a soup is another healthy alternative.

7.       Make it a game. Set up a taste test of raw veggies with three different dips like, hummus, cream cheese and herb, or curried sour cream. Ask which veggies the kids like with which dip.

Thousand Oaks Earth Day

Thousand Oaks Earth Day

When kids plant and grow a carrot, they can hardly wait to eat that carrot!