I’ve written about my no-snacks-except-veggies-in-the-hour-before-dinner-house-rule before (read My Pre-Dinner Snack Strategy). It’s worked wonders around here. It takes the edge off of hunger (but they’re still hungry for dinner). And if they skip their veggies at dinner, I don’t fret–they’ve already nibbled on some before they even got to the table. (Also, the word “platter” seems to elevate any offering I give them.)
2. Put veggies in your kids’ lunch boxes.
Even if you think they won’t eat them. Because they just might–especially if you keep portions of other foods a bit smaller.
3. Blend them into smoothies.
Make them for yourself and your kids. But don’t be sneaky about it. Let them see you putting spinach in the blender or carrots in the juicer–and enlist them to help! (Get this recipe for Peach & Vanilla Green Smoothie)
4. Make stir-fries.
And fried rice. And noodle dishes. They’re easy vehicles for tossing in veggie odds and ends. And in my house, soy sauce has the power to make veggies much more appealing. (Get this recipe for Peanut Butter Noodles With Carrots & Broccoli)
5. Serve salad nightly.
Your kids aren’t salad eaters? Make them “starter salads”, like the one shown above. This is actually how I got my husband eating vegetables too: I made tiny bowls of 3-4 lettuce leaves, covered in croutons and a favorite dressing. Now he orders salads in restaurants. (I am so proud!) My fifth grader has graduated to a bigger bowl. My first grader is still warming up to the idea. But I’m not giving up! (Read: Starter Salads: Teaching My Kids To Love Greens.)
6. Consider a produce delivery service.
Our stash of fresh fruits and veggies tends to wane by the end of the week, so I get twice-monthly produce drop-offs from Green Bean Delivery (shown above). It’s a nice way to refresh our stock and gives me incentives to serve more veggies. If you’re not in Green Bean’s delivery area, check out Farmbox Direct, which delivers organic produce to large areas of the East and parts of the Midwest. They recently sent me a box to try, and I was impressed by how much produce came in the small box (and how fresh it was).
7. Don’t be afraid of a little ranch dressing.
Read: In Defense of Ranch Dressing. Enough said.