No excuses veggies for kids

Just like I always have things on hand for my salads; I also stock a few basic ingredients for my children’s “salads.”

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1. Baby Carrots–rinse and serve. Easy. Just like triple-washed salad greens, if I have to peel the carrots, they may not make it on the plate in time.
2. Broccoli–raw or steamed. To steam- place chopped broccoli in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of water.

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Place a plate on top of the bowl and microwave for 2.5 minutes. Voila. I often put a little EVOO and parmesan cheese on this method, but plain always works for my children’s palates.

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3. Frozen peas–take a couple handfuls of these and a tablespoon of water. Microwave in a small ceramic or glass bowl for about a minute. Serve. You can add butter or salt if that is in alignment with your food view. Plain is always good too.
4. Apples–slice and serve.

I have cute plates with slots for various toddler/preschool foods. I put the veggie in one compartment. I put some sort of dip in the other. My go-to dips are ranch dressing or hummus.

I learned from my friend Becky to just put the healthy food out before the meal. Around the witching hour, those kids get hungry and pickier eaters are more likely to choose the healthy option.

This is not perfect eating, but my kids are getting fiber and nutrients from this arrangement. Often times a very kid friendly food such as macaroni and cheese, plain pasta, pizza, or hot dog (all beef, nitrate free) are served alongside the fresh fruit or vegetable.

How do you get your children to eat and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables?

When to buy organic and when to save money on conventional fruits and veggies

My children attend a cooperative preschool. That means that the parents are very active in the community and even teach at least one day a week at school. We joined at my prudent husband’s suggestion, but soon realized it was a magical place that was very good for our children and for us. Besides teaching one day a week, each family is also assigned a job at the school My jobs are to teach the really fun dance class and to do the grocery and paper goods shopping. For me, this is easy because the guidelines for purchasing are already in alignment with what I do at home. I love local, organic produce but sometimes it is not always practical. Still, the “dirty dozen list” was in my guidelines and it was a good reminder for me. I don’t know who the original publisher of this list is, but just enjoy the information.

So, the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables (meaning get organic if possible) are:
1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Grapes
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

Twelve Least Contaminated–meaning conventional can be OK
1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet Peas (frozen)
8. Kiwi fruit
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Papaya

Eating well is important; so is staying on budget. Save money on the conventional things, but really spend on the contaminated items and get organic. Cheers!