I’ve written about this before. Getting my kids to eat their veggies is kind of a…battle. To put it nicely.
In all fairness, I have one child who will try anything I ask her to try and willingly eats carrots, potatoes, and a select few other veggies. But the other child? Notsomuch.
And it turns out, I’m not the only one who struggles with getting veggies into my kids! According to the State of the Plate Report, 9 out of 10 people in the United States don’t get enough veggies in their diets. We are guilty of falling into that category, but it’s something I am working on.
I updated a family favorite (a super simple-to-make breakfast quiche) to include some broccoli. My plan was to tell the kids about what I was doing, explain to them what they were eating, and offer an incentive to encourage them to get excited about trying something new.
I started with this Broccoli and Ham Breakfast Quiche.
Broccoli & Ham Breakfast Quiche
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup Bisquick
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 3/4 lb diced ham you can use thick-sliced ham from the deli counter and dice at home
- 1/2 bag of Birds Eye Steamfresh Broccoli Florets
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Steam broccoli in microwave.
- Blend (I just used the blender to chop it up until it was really fine, which only took a few pulses)
- Combine milk, Bisquick and eggs using a mixer. Stir in cheese and broccoli.
- Grease a 10" pie plate and pour in the mixture.
- Sprinkle the ham over the top.
- Cook for 30 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving.
Alas! It was not that magical. Read on, dear friends.
Claire ate her three bites and merrily went on her way.
Jack, however, was a different story. At first he refused to try it. Then he did try it, but cried the whole time and threw in some gagging for good measure. As a parent, these are the judgement calls I never feel quite qualified to make. A picky child myself, I know how awful it is to be forced to eat things. But at the same time, how can he know if he likes something if he doesn’t even try it?
The three bite rule is something our pediatrician had recommended. With this in mind, we held our ground and required three bites. I am proud to say that he did, indeed, finish his three bites. And while the process was less-than-awesome, the end result was that he got to check a new veggie off his Veggies Chart.
I created a veggie chart (download yours below) using several simple veggies we often have in our house. We’ll be preparing some kid-friendly meals with these veggies, and as the kids eat them, they get to mark off the box. I left a free space at the end – the kids can pick what veggie they’d like for the free space (they can choose one they already like or try a new one). Once they’ve filled out the entire chart, they get to pick a dinner for the following week (and I told them it could even be a veggie-free dinner if they’d like).
As you can see, the kids have different techniques for filling our their charts (Jack really took it a step further and wanted to write out his thoughts on the broccoli, which I actually think is a great idea!).
Getting my kids to eat – and more importantly, enjoy – their veggies is going to be a work in progress, and I know that.
And in the meantime, this is one battle I’ll keep fighting. I see the light, and the light is a tear-free bite of broccoli. 😉
What do you do to help your kids get excited about veggies?