5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Their Leafy Greens
I teach a bi-annual class titled “Raw Food Fun for Kids,” a fun, lively workshop to provide children and their parents with a supportive framework for incorporating morefresh raw foods into their diet. Every class includes parents who are frustrated with their spouse and/or children who have an aversion to green leafy vegetables. I came up with 7 tips so that kids will come to enjoy those nutrient-dense, goul-colored friends from the plant kingdom.
- Change the texture. For example, a child may not like green leafy vegetables in a salad but may love them in a green smoothie, green soup, green pudding, green dip, or green dressing. My son will drink a large juice with celery, cucumber and carrot but will rarely eat a salad, so juice is another wonderful way for children to enjoy and receive the amazing benefits of greens.
- Make the green leafies part of an attractive design. Encourage your kids to create artwork with their green leafy veggies. Ask them to put together a green leafy collage. When complete, the family gets to sample it together!
- Kids love dips! Add healthy, delicious fresh herbs and it’s even more likely they’ll dip their dark green lettuces, kale, celery, spinach or other leafy greens. If they have something really yummy to dip their fresh leafy greens into, they’ll be more likely to indulge. Favorite dips for us included those made from Raw Tahini (sesame seed paste) and Creamy Cucumber Dill (Dill is so refreshing – My daughter has always loved any dressing that is jazzed up with dill). Most children will be attracted to one of the fresh green herbs: parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, etc. Adding one of these to a new dip recipe could be the key to dipping those leafy greens! (My son adores parsley and so I’ll add loads of it to a Taboule recipe. Sometimes this will become a dip to scoop on Romaine lettuce leaves.)
- When my kids were hungry they would eat green leafy vegetables. When we would take rides as when going on field trips, I would bring some green leafy vegetables along with something more filling such as a pate or homemade nut butter. This was the perfect time for them to enjoy and eat a significant amount of those dear greens!
- Getting your child working in the garden will most likely be the most important of these tips. Harvesting your blooming crops together as a family will provide the profound connection to all that is Nature, and the sampling of Earth’s bounty will speak to the child about the natural food for humans.
Getting your children to love their green leafy vegetables can be a daunting task, but once they’re hooked it’s usually for life. The family and peer support in my class “Raw Food Fun for Kids” brings green leafy vegetables to life in many simple recipes. We all need to be creating this same fun environment in our homes.